The Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) leadership forum over the weekend endorsed the recent opposition umbrella party model proposed by the conveners of the opposition cooperation talks.
The opposition cooperation comprises┬áof the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF) and the BPP.
Speaking after the Nlaphwane leadership forum, the Secretary for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Kumbulani William, said his party fully endorsed the model proposed by the conveners on the formation of an umbrella body to be led by a single president and the use of a single disk at the 2014 general elections.
“We fully briefed the membership on the talks. We have agreed and endorsed the proposed model of cooperation. We are fully committed to the whole process and we are hopeful that it will this time around work. The BPP is committed to all the issues that will be discussed going forward,” said William.
The party, which has in the past elections performed poorly, has also resolved to revive its party structures so as to make meaningful contribution in the coming elections.
Other resolutions included a demand to be presented to President Ian Khama that he appoints a full time Minister of Defence, Justice and Security. Currently, Nkange MP Edwin Batshu, the former Commissioner of Police is the acting minister. His acting appointment followed the resignation of Dikgakgamatso Seretse after he was charged with a single count of corruption. Seretse’s trial is continuing.
The leadership also resolved to petition Khama to force the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, who is also currently before the courts facing a single count of corruption, to resign.
Although he was formally charged, Matambo unlike Seretse, has not resigned his cabinet post and Khama has maintained that he will not fire Matambo because he is presumed innocent until convicted.
In fact, Khama has gone on record regretting firing former Assistant Minister of Finance Samson Moyo Guma when he was misled by the investigating authorities that Guma was a potential candidate for a corruption charge.
The party’s other resolutions include that a presentation to the president be made to ensure that all stakeholders, especially political parties, are included in the Delimitation Commission, which is expected to be set up after the August population census.
Other resolutions include a request to government to replace the Citizen Economic Empowerment policy with an indigenous empowerment policy to ensure that the economic empowerment drive is geared towards Batswana by birth as opposed to naturalised citizens.
The party also resolved to request government to introduce a third official language although they did not decide on the particular so-called minority language in addition to requesting that all children at primary school are taught in their mother languages.
The last resolution was that all the legislators reject the government move to re-introduce the Trades and Disputes Amendment Act, which seeks to include teachers, veterinary services, diamond cutting and polishing cadres into the essential services cadre.