Sunday, July 3, 2022

Kanjabanga dismisses revival of Umbrella as a self-seeking exercise

Suspended Botswana National Front (BNF) activist, Gabriel Kanjabanga, has accused party President Duma Boko and Gomolemo Motswaledi of the Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD) of pushing for the Umbrella project because they want to be President and Vice President respectively.

Kanjabanga said that the collapse of the Umbrella has been vindication for him, Lemogang Ntime, Malatsi Mokhubame, Kagiso Ntime and others who never supported the idea.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard on Friday, he said many social commentators failed to note their vision when they protested about the Umbrella when the cooperation talks began.

Kanjabanga said that he along with other BNF activists raised several reasons why the Umbrella project would not succeed and added that if those involved in the process could have advanced the reasons, then they could have considered alternatives to the Umbrella.

The former BNF youth league President said that he finds it extremely worrisome that opposition politicians were speaking strongly of getting rid of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) as if usurping state power alone would deliver a better government.

“They are not talking about policies and programmes which are solutions to people’s problems,” he said, adding that the group is mum on Education, unemployment and their approach to poverty eradication. He said that the talk and focus should be on the proposed party’s policies. He warned that changing a government for the sake of change could have serious consequences, giving an example of Zambia, a number of Latin American countries, which changed government only to wallow in worse economic conditions.

Kanjabanga said that the silence on the most important aspects for people aspiring to take over government is a clear indication that those seeking to revive the project are self seeking.
“These people are not genuine; they only envy the positions that the BDP government occupies,” he said.

He added that Boko and Motswaledi were busy pushing for the revival of the talks because they personally want to benefit from the whole process. He said that it was clear during a recent live interview that the two leaders were ganging up against the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader Dumelang Saleshando.

“They have struck a bilateral deal with Motswaledi supporting Boko for the Umbrella Presidency,” he said hence the BNF leader is always in defence of BMD.

He said that the parties were contradicting themselves in that they want to be equal partners, and yet felt BMD is being unreasonable in demanding a lot of constituencies.

Kanjabanga says that if the parties contest the elections as an Umbrella party, they will lose a number of strong areas post 2014 because in some areas some parties are going to disappear.

He said that the opposition was failing because it was mesmerized by the BDP split and failed to react appropriately to the BDP split.Kanjabanga did not spare the BMD as he identified it as part of the BDP legacy.

“Why do Batswana believe BMD can deliver socio-economic solutions, when it has been part of the BDP for 45 years,” he questioned. “All these guys were running this country, these are the people responsible for this failing programmes and for the laws as well as the very same constitution they now viciously condemn,” he stated.

He said the likes of Botsalo Ntuane and Gomolemo Motswaledi were part of the BDP when it persecuted Basarwa and chased them from their ancestral lands.

“What can you expect from people like this…if anything they are going to be worse than the BDP if given the opportunity,” he stated. “There is too much excitement and hype…we cannot want a change of government where there is too much recklessness.”

Kanjabanga is scheduled to appear before the BNF disciplinary committee on the 4th of February. He, however, suggests that the charges should be scrapped because the issues require a political intervention.

“My position is that we should have a political solution. Even if we were to appear and are found guilty or not guilty, it is going to harden attitudes and feelings among party members,” he said.
Kanjabanga said the disciplinary hearing process against the suspended lot will have a devastating effect on the unity of the party.


Read this week's paper