The opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) on Monday said that it is working on expanding its base into the strongholds of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the Central District.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday where the party welcomed members who defected from the BDP, BCP President Dumelang Saleshando said they are working on ensuring that they bring the ruling party down to its knees in the Central District which is still its stronghold.
“We are still going to go after the BDP to weaken them and recruit their members. We want to hit them hard in the Central District which is their stronghold,” said Saleshando.
The areas that the BCP intends to raid are Tswapong, Palapye and Mahalapye constituencies before the net is cast wide to other constituencies in the Central District.
Saleshando said they have since welcomed a number of BDP members in Central District who contested the last general elections as independent candidates in the party’s fold.
He said recently the BDP announced that those who contested as independent candidates in the last general election were welcome to rejoin the ruling party, but instead they decided to join the BCP.
“You should note that they are not the only ones joining the party. They have also brought their followers in those regions,” he said. Saleshando said they expect the defectors to make a lot of contribution as members of the BCP.
“We are not a retirement home. They are welcome to make a lot of contribution and offer advice where necessary,” he said.
The BCP leader said they intend to officially welcome the new recruits and more than 100 people from the BDP in Central District in Palapye early next year.
On other issues Saleshando said he has since notified the Speaker Gladys Kokorwe of his intention to sue because he never intended to be nominated for consideration or election as Specially Elected Member of Parliament.
Two weeks ago Saleshando’s name was put forward as a candidate for special nomination.
He had not agreed.
He confirmed that initially he was approached by the leadership of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) so that he could be nominated as way of forging relations ahead of the opposition corporation talks.
Saleshando said after discussions with the UDC leadership, the idea of him being nominated was abandoned as it was against the principle of his party which believes that it is undemocratic for rejected candidates to become MPs through Specially Elected dispensation.
In his statutory notice, Saleshando said he has neither authorised anyone to nominate or select his name nor consented to such nomination.
“The Speaker of the National Assembly is obliged, for purposes of transparency, openness and accountability and is required by the schedule to Constitution and the nomination to disclose the persons who made the nomination so that only the President and elected members of the National Assembly and no other persons are the only ones entitled to nominate and do in fact nominate,” he said.
On the Matsha College tragedy in which seven students died when a truck overturned, Saleshando called for an independent investigation into the matter saying the BDP is notorious for cover ups.
“We don’t have confidence in the BDP Government to carry out credible investigations,” he said. He added that the school’s headmaster has been suspended to divert attention so that the nation can believe that something is being done. BCP is preparing to engage with other opposition parties to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change of which it was not a member ahead of elections last year.