The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has started engaging general membership to solicit fresh mandate over what to do following the collapse of opposition cooperation talks last month.
The BCP’s spokesperson, Taolo Lucas, has said the first round of consultative meetings started last week in Ramotswa and Boteti regions. Lucas further said that the Palapye and Mau consultative meetings are scheduled for next week and will be led by the party president, Dumelang Saleshando, as well as the party treasurer Dennis Alexander.
“The BCP, in the spirit of consultation and participatory democracy, is embarking on a nationwide consultative tour to brief its membership about the developments concerning cooperation talks,” Lucas said.
He said that there will be a lot of challenges during the process and added that it is upon all involved BCP members to meet the challenges for the better.┬á
“If determination to success is being displayed by the parties, I do not see anything that could derail talks of cooperation and unity this time around,” said Lucas.
Consultative meetings, which will be held in BCP regions countrywide, will be led by teams that include members of the Central Committee, members of the party’s cooperation negotiation team, members of the national organising committee and members of the youth and women’s league.
Lucas said through these regional consultative meetings, the BCP will receive feedback from its membership which will ultimately guide the party direction with regard to cooperation talks.
“The BCP will, where possible, consult with potential stakeholders such as the faith sector, workers, the business community, students and ordinary members of the public,” he said. “Every political party is free to recruit members everywhere and it is an ongoing process.”
He said that people are all at liberty to make a choice of political identity.
“When we recruit new members, we are targeting constituencies we have won, those we lost with small margins and those we did not do well at. We are basically targeting all constituencies,” said Lucas.
According to Lucas, the party will attend to Gaborone, Kgatleng and Mahalapye areas to get the views of the members.
He added that the last round of the consultative meetings is scheduled for Ghanzi and Kgalagadi regions.
“The Central committee will later hold major evaluation meetings where we will make a bold decision as the BCP. We value everyone’s opinion and opinions vary,” said Lucas.
The consultative meetings come after the BCP central committee meeting that was held on the 15th January 2011 resolved that the party embarks on meetings with membership to give them feedback concerning the collapsed Umbrella talks.