Recruitment of new members to political opposition parties is suspected to have derailed cooperation and unity talks between opposition parties in the country.
Members have been moving from one party to the other. Opposition party’s leaderships have been embarking on tours whose objectives are to recruit members, build party structures and engage Batswana on current issues affecting the country.
University of Botswana Political Science Associate Professor and political analyst, Zibani Maudeni, observed that the unity talks between political parties are still at an early stage. He said that there will be a lot of challenges during the process. He stated that it is upon all the involved parties to meet the challenges for the better.
“If determination to success is being displayed by the parties, I do not see any derailing of talks of cooperation and unity,” said Maundeni.
He said that seriousness and positive attitude and commitment in the party matters will not stop progress in the unity of opposition parties.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Publicity Secretary Taolo Lucas said that he was not aware of conflict involving new membership recruitment between opposition parties. He stated that there is no agreement of recruitment yet between parties.
“Every political party is free to recruit members everywhere and it is an ongoing process,” said Lucas. He said that people are all at liberty to make a choice of political identity.
“When we recruit new members, we are targeting constituencies we have won, those we lost with small margins and those we did not do well at. We are basically targeting all constituencies,” said Lucas
Lucas confirmed that the cooperation talks are at an early stage and he stated that before political parties enter into an agreement, the issues of recruitment should not disrupt anything. “People have the constitutional right to choose any political party,” said Lucas.
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Vice Chairman, Botsalo Ntuane, also confirmed that the cooperation talks are ongoing with other opposition parties. “There is a lot mobility of people between political parties and no one has the right to stop the people’s movement from one party to another,” said Ntuane.
He stated that responsibilities of unity cooperation intend to speak out on behalf of all people in this country with a voice characterized by emphasis on the country’s development and empowerment.
“Challenges can only be addressed by showing some serious political participation said Ntuane. He also confirmed that overwhelming numbers of young people continue to make enquiries to register for membership at BMD offices.