In a move to shift away from the blame for the collapse of the unity talks, the Botswana National front top wigs organized a press conference to present the party’s position paper concerning opposition unity. Chairing the proceedings, BNF deputy Secretary General, Mohammad Khan, said that the purpose of the press conference was to iron out particular issues with regards to opposition cooperation.
Acting BNF president, Dr Kathleen Letshabo, read out a press statement that said according to Section 1.1.1 of the principles for negotiations by the Opposition Joint Task Force, decision during negotiations shall be reached by consensus, and not by majority vote and as such it is grossly immaterial to say that now that the parties want a loose Pact the BNF should be bound by it.
Letshabo blasted the pact model by narrating that in 2004 her party experimented with the pact model and it has shown that it is a failed model whose long-term effect would be to regionalize and even triabilise opposition parties. “The BNF is a national party and not a party of the south,” she said.
Letshabo and her newly acquired right hand man, Akanyang Magama, presented to members of the press a position paper on the alliance model and why they supported this model. When asked if the hostile relationship between the BNF and BCP had any influence in deciding the outcome of the party central committee meeting in Kanye, which sought to take the party’s position on the model of cooperation the party endorsed, Letshabo reiterated that the sour relationship between the two parties had no bearing in the decision taken at Kanye last week. “This was a decision taken as a party stand by the party leadership and that’s all,” she said.
Letshabo concluded by saying that the BNF was still open to compromise as long as such compromise will not have the effect of making the BNF an accessory in dividing Botswana along tribal and regional lines.