Despite recent media reports to the effect that the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana National Front (BNF) will be teaming up to fight forthcoming elections, the two parties say they will not be cooperating to fight for the Gaborone Central parliamentary seat as a team.
They are no friendlier towards each other than they were two weeks ago.
In fact, they are still throwing spears at each other and hopes for party co-operation between the two are all but nil.
“We honestly would like to work with the BCP in constituencies such as Gaborone Central, where our merger could overthrow the Botswana Democratic Party but, as of now, our candidates are standing separately and we have no idea who came up with the idea that we would be working together for the Village Ward elections,” said BNF Secretary General, Moeti Mohwasa.
Media reports last week said the two parties had agreed to cooperate in order to retain the Gaborone Central seat and Village Ward council seats.
Mohwasa, however, confirmed that two months ago, the party wrote an open letter to the BCP asking for general party co-operation between the two.
According to Mohwasa, the BNF has still to receive feedback from the BCP and he suspects that it is an indication that the BCP had not made any arrangement to work together for the Village Ward elections.
To prove that the BNF is serious about party co-operation, Mohwasa picked the example of the Makaleng bye-elections, where he alleges that his party decided not to contest so that the BCP would stand a better chance to win against the BDP.
On general terms though, he said, even though they wrote only to the BCP, they don’t only want to work with the BCP alone but with any interested and focused opposition parties.
But Kesetigile Gobotswang, the BCP’s vice president and UB lecturer, said allegations that they, BCP, were working with the BNF in Gaborone Central was just wishful thinking.
Gobotswang said they were surprised to read in newspapers that they were to hold a meeting with the BNF to discuss the Gaborone Central issue this past Tuesday.
“There is no such thing as party co-operation between us and the BNF for the Gaborone Central election. There was no planned meeting for Tuesday, nothing of that sort. Besides, if we were to take the BNF’s proposal into consideration, we would have to apply a holistic approach and not just for Gaborone Central,” said Gobotswang, adding, “Currently, the BNF is in a state of chaos and we would also have to be extremely cautious when dealing with them in the future.”
Gobotswang said that they are extremely confident about their own candidate, Seabelo Thekiso, for the Village Ward elections.
Thekiso is currently a final year student at the University of Botswana and Gobotswang said that Thekiso had, on a number of times, proved himself capable to the party.