Botswana Congress Party President, Dumelang Saleshando is caught in a factional fight between party members who want to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change, led by party Secretary General Kentse Rammidi and those opposed to the umbrella led by former party President Michael Dingake, party insiders have revealed.
According to former BCP youth league secretary general Thato Osupile; Rammidi is “pulling Saleshando’s hand towards the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) cooperation talks while former BCP President Dingake is pulling Saleshando’s other hand to remain in the BCP.”
Rammidi has since rubbished the allegations saying it is disrespectful to the president. “I am under his authority but you know we take decisions collectively. There is no how he can take decisions that affect the party on his own, its utter nonsense. As far as I know decisions are made by the party executive, the president cannot take decisions alone and I also cannot take decisions that affect the party alone. As far as I know we are on the same page as the BCP on this matter,” he said.
On the other hand, Dingake told this publication that Saleshando as the president of the party can make his own decisions. He said there is no how he (Dingake) can be accused of “pulling Saleshando’s other hand.”
Commenting on the cooperation talks, Dingake said, “Do I know anything about cooperation talks? Do I need cooperation talks, I do not know,” that’s all Dingake could say.
BCP president’s comment was that his position was made known clearly in his speech presented at the conference.
The BCP has since rejected a proposal by the UDC not to contest the Good hope-Mabule by-election slated for next weekend.
Two weeks ago the UDC wrote a letter asking the BCP to withdraw its candidate and pave way for the UDC candidate, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng. The letter is said to have divided the BCP leadership as some agreed that the party should pave way for UDC while others objected. Those who supported the proposal argued that the UDC candidate stands a better chance of winning the by-election, while those who objected reasoned that BCP has no formal cooperation agreement with UDC. They also argued that the UDC failed to pave way for BCP candidates in previous by-elections where the BCP stood a better chance.
While it acknowledged receipt of the request, the BCP leadership said it later took the matter to the Good hope-Mabule constituency, which refused to accede to the request. A source close to the BCP leadership told Sunday Standard that the decision was made by BCP members on the ground, who insisted that the electorates had lost trust in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the UDC.