President Ian Khama has asked to meet with the official opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership and its Members of Parliament to greet and share ideas. The same courtesy was not extended to the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which has lost its position as official opposition. Speaking at a Press Conference last Friday, UDC President Duma Boko said he had a conversation with the President of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who is now the leader of this country.
“I must indicate that unlike before, the president of this country who is also the leader of the BDP has in the spirit of my discussions with him requested to meet with us; the UDC leadership and its members of parliament to get to meet, greet and share ideas,” he said. “The reason we are in parliament now and going forward is that we will bargain with the BDP where possible for the good of this country. Our job is not to oppose everything. We will be guided by doing what is right at all times,” said Boko. UDC president said Khama is committed to working with the UDC. “He is committed to working with us and building a working partnership. I assured him that the UDC was prepared to work with him in carrying fourth the agenda of developing this country,” he said.
Boko trusts that Khama was at his most sincere after the conversation they had. “I spoke to president Khama; after the initial telephone conversation he called again later that day to assure me that what he had told me earlier about working together was sincere. He saw the need to call back again to say he meant everything that he said. One assumes that if he is so fit to call back again to emphasize his sincerity he must be sincere. So we will take him as sincere until we establish otherwise,” Boko said. Boko and Khama also met Thursday morning before Members of Parliament were sworn in to discuss a few guidelines about their relationship going forward.
“We discussed as the constitution requires matters of national interest that his organisation, the BDP, also the current government, and the UDC will tackle. He committed himself to the whole process as far as to say on occasions he will discuss some issues with me before even taking them to cabinet. I believe that was an effort on his part to establish his sincerity.
We take him on his word and we trust him. We will see as events unfold whether those positions were sincerely stated,” Boko said. The President of the UDC said he also had a conversation with the leader of Botswana Congress Party. “I have received congratulatory messages from Dumelang Saleshando and I have given him assurances that we need each other more desperately than we have done before, and that we will now actively explore ways of operationalizing this yearning to work together,” he said.
He said Saleshando has given him many insights and nuggets of rationality in approaching the many intricate issues that they will navigate both in and outside parliament. “Him and I are on the same understanding that as a consequence of this past election and its outcome, many will suffer reflexes of its grief and might make certain pronouncements that may otherwise not seem very acceptable,” Boko said.