Tuesday, September 28, 2021

UDC opposition cooperation talks might take time to take off

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is said to be dragging its feet in-terms of appointing a delegation to represent the movement at opposition cooperation talks with Botswana Congress Party (BCP). 

The talks were expected to start last month but UDC is yet to appoint a delegation to face the already appointed BCP delegation. Though the BCP refused to publicly announce the names of its members that made the delegation; the BCP says it is ready and waiting for UDC.

BCP President Dumelang Saleshando told a press conference on Monday that so far the only agreement between them and the UDC is a short term agreement of working together during by-elections.

“The talks on the long term agreement was supposed to start last month April. Clearly we have not yet started and we are at the end of May. Certain agreements have been made on how we will approach the talks; in terms of what structures we want to set in place,” said Saleshando.

He said as the BCP they have appointed all the necessary people to represent the BCP at the talks.

“It is important for us to allow our colleagues who seem to have run into some delays in appointing their teams time. They will notify us of their level of preparedness,” he said.

Sources within UDC linked the delay to the chaos within Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) caused by differences within the party leadership over whether to allow Sydney Pilane back into the party or not.

Saleshando said BMD situation should be accepted.

“We ought to accept that any point in time one or more of our political formations will go through some turmoil. It is a given, it happens everywhere. When a party goes into turmoil all we can hope for is that all those on board would fasten their seat belts to get through the turmoil and be able to get back to normal operations as a political formation,” said Saleshando.

He said the BCP cannot get involved in the BMD issues because it is important to understand that it is a BMD issue and therefore the BMD structures should be given the time and space to try and resolve whatever issues that they have.

“If it is escalated, my assumptions are that it will then escalate to the Umbrella for Democratic Change of which BMD is a member. Botswana Congress Party is a third party. We are a third party with interest because we are hoping for a cordial relationship with them. We can only wish for them to resolve their differences sooner than later,” he said.

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