Say insisting on conditions could jeopardize coalition project
Youth leagues of the Alliance for Progressives and the Botswana Patriotic Front have appealed to their respective parties to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) without holding the coalition project to ransom.
This comes after the AP and the BPF met with the UDC to discuss proposals for a comprehensive framework for opposition cooperation and to merge the proposals into one agreed document at a meeting scheduled for 15 October.
However, in an interview with The Botswana Gazette, the leader of the AP youth league, Gaone Majere, said although there is a general concern among young people within the party that talks are dragging, there is a need for the party’s central committee to put the interests of Batswana at the forefront because Batswana are willing to give a united opposition a chance in power.
“We are worried at the pace at which our party is moving with negotiations at the UDC because one would have expected the discussions to be at 60 percent by now,” Majere said.
“It is not a secret that a united opposition stands a very good chance. That is why it is imperative for the AP to accelerate these discussions. There should be no unnecessary conditions for joining the coalition project. We are hard at work engaging other opposition youth leagues because they have a like-minded approach to the issue. They all want opposition parties under one roof.”
Similarly, the Publicity Secretary of the BPF Youth League, Amogelang Mokwena, said opposition parties need each other more than ever. To that end, Mokwena told The Gazette that the BPF should not present unnecessary conditions for joining the UDC.
“I can only advise our central committee to do away with personal interests because that might hinder efforts at uniting opposition parties,” he said. “We are trying by all means to guide our central committee to ensure that issues of wrestling for constituencies are put aside because the last thing we want is collapse of the project.”
The BPF youth league is mobilizing other like-minded opposition youth leagues for concrete ideas to be adopted by the UDC for the next general elections in 2024 because it would be difficult for the BPF to wrestle power from the BDP single-handedly, he added.
“Even though we have started to entrench ourselves in some constituencies, we know that some of the opposition parties are already strong there but we are ready to assist them to ensure that we take out the BDP,” Mokwena said.