The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the Botswana National Front (BNF) have snatched agreement from the jaws of umbrella talks collapse while the Botswana Congress (BCP) party is still holding out.
It is understood that the BNF central committee has resolved to give the BMD two constituencies of Lobatse and Kgatleng West which are hitherto the incumbent BMD constituencies, resolving the long running debate between the two parties over the thorny issue of incumbency.
The BNF spokesman, Moeti Mohwasa, however, declined to confirm or deny that such is a done deal.
“I am constrained to comment on issues of cooperation,” Mohwasa said.
His counterpart at the BCP conceded that they are aware that such a move might be forthcoming from the BNF.
“We have been working around the clock to save the talks and how we can accommodate the BMD,” said the BCP secretary general, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, this week. “We know the BNF have been considering giving the two constituencies to the BMD. We have a consideration to put before our negotiations.”
He would not disclose which constituencies the BCP was considering to give to the BMD.
The umbrella deal breaker, however, may be the incumbency negotiations between the BCP and BMD. At the time of going to press, the two parties were still deadlocked over the issue.
The BCP currently has its sight trained on the South East South constituency of Odirile Motlhale and the Francistown South of Wynter Mmolotsi both held by the BMD.
The BMD, on the other hand, has threatened that should BCP field candidates in the constituencies, they will in turn field party president Gomolemo Motswaledi to contest against BCP President Dumelang Saleshando for the Gaborone Central Constituency; BMD’s Vista Moruti will be pitted against BCP’s incumbent MP Bagalatia Aaron in Okavango. There is already speculation that the umbrella may ultimately be reduced to the BMD, the BNF and the BPP.
The BCP leadership forum met recently and resolved that cooperation talks must be concluded by the end of this year. This after the bilateral talks between the BCP and BMD and the BMD and the BNF reached a deadlock.
The BMD spokesman, Rasina Rasina, referred enquiries to the BMD chairman Nehemiah Modubule who could not be reached for comment.