The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) said Monday that it has not started negotiations on cooperation talks with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
Commenting on recent media reports on that the BCP is on course to join the UDC, Mohwasa said they are yet to enter into negotiations with BCP.
“Among many others, the following impressions could be created; that the UDC and the BCP have already entered into negotiations and that such negotiations revolve dividing leadership positions and parliamentary seats between themselves,” Mohwasa said in a statement.
He explained that in the build up to the Goodhope/ Mabule by-election, the party through its Leader, Duma Boko requested the BCP not to field a candidate in the election and suggested that this could set the tone for future cooperation between the two parties.
“It is common knowledge that the leadership of the BCP tried without success to convince its structures in the area to support the UDC. The BCP leadership deserves commendation for such an effort,” said Mohwasa.
He added that, “We appreciate the time pressure under which the BCP leadership operated and are humbled by its gesture of not fielding a candidate in the forth-coming Boswelatlou By-election. This gesture is appreciated by the UDC and the nation at large.”
UDC believes this will contribute towards cessation of hostilities and creation of a conducive atmosphere for opposition cooperation talks.
“As at now the two parties, being the UDC (which represents the BPP, BNF and the BMD) have not entered into any formal talks with the BCP neither do we have a by-election MOU in place,” he said.
He further added that “it is important to highlight that the UDC will in terms of the mandate derived from its structures welcome any moves on the part of the BCP to become part of the Umbrella. It has to be appreciated that the common enemy is the BDP. What we believe we will focus on, together with the BCP is not which party gets how many constituencies, or who gets which position, but how do we swiftly remove the moribund BDP from government,” said Mohwasa.
According to Mohwasa, from the recent elections, it is clear that Batswana want all opposition parties to come together under one banner.
“This is what the UDC has fought for and will continue to fight for. The party leadership will in its next meeting discuss the latest developments and chart the way forward,” said Mohwasa.
In a recent statement, BCP spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse also says that his party has decided not to contest the upcoming Boswelatlou ward in Lobatse.
“This decision was taken after consultation with party structures in Lobatse, and also in view of the ‘’UDC friendly letter” on cooperation on GoodHope-Mabule by election.
We place on record that the BCP will not stand in Boswelatlou but will assist in the best way we can to make sure UDC retains the seat,” said Keorapetse.
He said the cooperation in Boswelatlou is a culmination of both parties’ attempts to forge relations that would usher in an amicable working relationship between the BCP and the UDC.
“We hope that this is a step in the right direction as both parties are currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding for by elections across the country- a big step for the envisaged opposition cooperation leading up to 2019 elections,” said Keorapetse.
The BCP believes that opposition parties enemy is one, the BDP, “therefore we ought to do as much as we can to retain seats held by opposition, and wrestle those in the BDP in future by elections.”
“We are 100% committed to this decision and wish to emphasize that the BCP will pull its resources together to help the UDC retain Boswelatlou ward. We encourage our people to rally behind the UDC in this by election, physically and in spirit, so that we defeat the BDP as UDC did in the GoodHope Mabule by election,” said Keorapetse.