Wednesday, January 19, 2022

BDP cuts ties with MDC following Zimbabwe polls

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has cut ties with Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
In an interview with The Telegraph, BDP’s secretary general, Mpho Balopi said the official policy of the party is that it only relates to foreign political parties that are in power.
“We officially do not relate with opposition parties, once a political party is in power, it becomes our fraternal friend and when it loses power we cut the ties,” he said.
Asked whether this meant the BDP had cut ties with MDC, Balopi was non committal save to reiterate that their policy is to have a relationship with political parties that are in power.
Under the BDP, Tsvangirai and his MDC have always preferential treatment with Botswana government.
After the 2008 Zimbabwe elections which were marred by violence, Tsvangirai enjoyed the support of the Botswana government in calling for fresh elections. He settled in Botswana for over a month after his safety and security became an issue for international concern.
Whenever he arrived in Botswana, he was given presidential treatment before he was even appointed a Prime Minister in the past Government of National Unity (GNU)
Just in the recent elections which were labelled fair but not credible, Botswana also supported Tsvangirai in calling for fresh elections and an audit. Botswana also added that it won’t recognise President Mugabe as the president until an audit had been carried out. She later backtracked at the Southern African Development (SADC) summit when she recognised Robert Mugabe as the legitimate president.
Mugabe’s ruling (ZANU-PF has in the past accused BDP led government of training MDC cadres on military tactics in an effort to unseat ZANU-PF.
Just in the recent elections, ZANU-PF accused government of funding MDC-T campaigns.
But Botswana has rejected as utter false reports suggesting that it gave financial backing to MDC’s campaign efforts in the run-up to last week’s general elections.
“Botswana reiterates for anyone who may have doubts in the context of allegations currently emanating from some quarters, that it has not provided any funding for any political formation in Zimbabwe in the context of the 2013 elections in the said country,” the Botswana Government said in a statement reacting to the claims.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper