The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) vice president, Botsalo Ntuane, has said that his party is capable of wrestling power from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party with or without assistance from other opposition parties.
Speaking at the party’s rally on Sunday in Old Naledi, Ntuane said the BMD was growing in leaps and bounds and was capable of cutting short President Khama’s leadership come 2014 national elections.
This has sent shivers among those hoping to see the Umbrella project make some inroads or tumble into pieces.
“We broke away from the BDP with a different agenda far away from the other existing opposition parties. While we appreciate the noble initiative of the coalition between ourselves as opposition parties to oust the ruling party, BMD can still do it with or without them should the project fail,” declared Ntuane. Ntuane indicated his party was a force to reckon with as evidenced by its conspicuous presence across the country.
“We are currently the leader of the opposition in parliament as is the case in the Gaborone City Council.
The same political platform reigns in Francistown where Shadreck Nyeku controls the council levers,” Ntuane said.
Opposition parties are fighting tooth and nail to clinch an agreement under the Umbrella coalition, with allocation of parliamentary seats a stumbling block for BMD, Botswana Congress Party, Botswana National Front and the Botswana Peoples Party.
While BMD lobbies for incumbency seats to be the determining factor, other parties have other options. This has sparked skepticism over the survival of the project, which is fast moving towards a deadline, scheduled for end of December without much progress to show for all the efforts so far invested.
Ntuane, who is the parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, also did not spare his critics over the prevailing standoff between essential service workers and government, labelling them immoral and hypocritical.
“They continue to work and put food on the table of their families while my constituents and the general public are suffering and knocking on our doorsteps for interventions, pleading for reinstatement. It would be understandable had they relinquished their posts and joined the affected workers’ ranks. Otherwise this is immoral and hypocritical,” he said, apparently referring trade union and other political leaders who have recently criticized him for pleading clemency on behalf of the sacked employees.
“We should not be seen to just be opposing all the time. We should give credit where it is due.”
Ntuane was supported by the party president, Gomolemo Motswaledi.
“You cannot fool the people all the time. One day they will catch up with you …hence I agree with my colleague to sometimes give a pat on the back where necessary,” Motswaledi said.
He rubbished speculation that they were on their way back to their mother party, insisting that the BMD had acquired many members.
“Where would people like Dubs go should we take such action,” Motswaledi questioned, referring to Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule, formerly of the Botswana National Front.