Unlike his President, the newly elected Botswana Democratic Party secretary general, Kentse Rammidi, sees great danger ahead for the BDP, if the opposition cooperation project succeeds.
President Khama has always maintained that the opposition cooperation project is just a political gimmick.
But Rammidi sees things differently and insists that the opposition’s initiative is serious enough to cause jitters within the ruling party.
“The on-going opposition parties’ cooperation should not be taken for granted. In fact, I see the most vicious and competitive tussle surpassing the historical 1994 national elections,” said Rammidi during an interview with Btv on Sunday.
At the BDP congress in Mahalapye recently, President Ian Khama could not resist the temptation to dismiss the cooperation talks, saying they cannot succeed as the very problems that made them fail at first still exist.
He cited the recent by-elections in which the opposition parties efforts were rejected by the voters.
Rammidi, however, insists that the BDP is faced with the mammoth task to dispel the looming opposition attack, weakened by the party’s unprecedented split, which saw the emergence of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), which has joined forces with other existing opposition parties.
“This should be of concern for all democrats,” he warned. “As things stand, everyone within our ranks should be alarmed over the project.”
From their respective party meetings during the holidays, the opposition Botswana National Front, Botswana Congress Party and Botswana Peoples Party followers and leadership, in conjunction with the BMD, have endorsed as their priority the smooth running of the cooperation talks with an umbrella model unanimously agreed upon among the parties to end the BDP’s long rule.
“I still stick to my comments over the compromise initiative that it is improper and undemocratic. But for the time being, as the party attempts to heal itself from the unprecedented split I have been receptive and succumbed to the party demands,” he said.
He rubbished some party leaders’ statements over the exodus of its members to the opposition, saying even militant members were crucial to the existence of the party.
“Politics is all about numbers. As the new secretary general I will make sure I meet with these members and even the opposition to lure them into our fold.”