Botswana Congress Party (BCP) young Turks said Monday that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) should only have one Vice President. The youth also said their party should have been allocated constituencies in Gaborone and the surrounding areas.
Speaking at a Press Conference on Monday, BCP Youth League President Tumiso Rakgare said the youth movement would be happy if the negotiations allowed the BCP to manage one or two constituencies in Gaborone and Kweneng.
He says constituencies in Gaborone and surrounding areas are winnable to the opposition as compared to constituencies in any other parts of the country. Rakgare said the opposition should not allow a situation whereby one political party is focusing on one side of the country. He argues that the idea of having one party in one part of the country kills it in other parts where it is not visible enough.
“That is not good for individual parties, but we have to accept the decision taken by the parties’ leadership,” said Rakgare.
“We are not in any how against the decision by the leadership but we are saying when arriving to that decision of allocating constituencies they should have considered locations as well and the reaction of people towards opposition parties in all locations in Botswana.
In Kweneng opposition is currently holding eight constituencies under the UDC ticket and the BCP got nothing out of these constituencies, in the Southern region they are six constituencies managed by UDC and the BCP still got nothing.
Rakgare emphasised that it is important to have different opposition parties managing different constituencies across the country. The Presence of the contracting parties to the UDC must be felt across Botswana.
Speaking to the UDC structure the youth movement would have loved to see a structure with one vice President.
“We made it clear from the beginning that we do not support the idea of having two Vice Presidents but with whatever reasons that forced the situation as it is now we have to respect and accept the decisions by the negotiating team to have two Vice Presidents for the UDC.
Rakgare argues that now is the time to prepare a team that will lead Botswana after 2019 general elections, he says it must be clear who the President is and who will deputise the President.
“We have to move forward and it must be clear who is going to be President and who will deputise the President. We need a structure where there is a President and a vice president then we can start preparing these people to 2019 when we take over from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. That was our expectations as the BCP youth; we had no problem on who to be picked as vice president. It is not about us it is about the people,” said Rakgare.
Rakgare said the UDC is a work in progress and they believe that as time move on the leadership will consider the issues they are raising as the BCP youth, they believe that before 2019 the leadership should have dealt with some of their grievances.
“We are not here to air our grievances, we are not here hoping or wishing for any change from what was agreed during the negotiations but we are hoping that the leadership will consider our views as we will be engaging them,” he said.