We are open to join UDC – Mokgware
The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has labeled recent comments by Alliance for Progressives (AP) Chairman and Member of Parliament (MP) for Gabane Mmankgodi Major General Pius Mokgware’s, that the BCP played a part in the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) internal feuds as mischievous and cheap propaganda.
In an interview with a local radio station recently, Mokgware said the BCP had a hand in the infightings within the BMD, that ultimately led to the party splitting, and giving birth to the AP. However, when reached for comment the Gabane Mankgodi MP said he was merely stating facts that were reported by local media.
“I was stating facts that were reported by Sunday Standard, and what Rammidi told Duma FM. If anyone has problem with what I said, then they should be dealing with these two (Sunday Standard and Duma FM), even during the interview I had with Duma Fm, I made it clear that these were facts from the Sunday Standard,” said Mokgware.
Sunday Standard at the time reported that a top-secret document dated July 20, 2017 revealed the most detailed account of the cozy relationship between Pilane, Nehemiah Modubule, Gilbert Mangole and a section of the BCP. The report which allegedly was based on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information gathered during consultation between Rammidi and former BCP Youth League President Tumiso Chilliboy Rakgare. The report quotes Rakgare urging Rammidi to take “advantage of the BMD infightings to get at least two constituencies”
“The report further stated that: “Rakgare indicated that since the Modubule/Mangole faction is not hostile towards the BCP, they would not allow Phenyo Butale, Sedirwa Kgoroba and Wynter Mmolotsi to contest for the constituencies they are currently holding and that they will also not have strong candidates to contest in those constituencies.” The assumption is that the BCP would then be allowed to field candidates in the three constituencies.,” states the newspaper dated 23 July 2017. A few months later, the Alliance for Progressives was launched in Gaborone on October 28, 2017
BCP Spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse vehemently dismissed the allegations stating that the assertions are mostly circulated by BMD activists, and are intended at damaging the BCP’s reputation.
“Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is perturbed and irked by unfounded assertions by Alliance for Progressives (AP) Chairman and MP for Gabane Mmankgodi Major General Pius Mokgware on a Duma FM radio interview, that BCP played a part in BMD internal feuds which lead to the party split. These claims, which were started by some Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) activists, are very reckless, devious and malicious; they’re carefully calculated to achieve a nasty political end of damaging the BCP’s reputation. “These rumors should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve,” reads part of the BCP statement.
“BMD and its surrogates have added to Botswana body politic, lies, slander and conspiracies that have largely soiled the alternative agenda politics. Both AP and BMD Leadership cannot run away from their responsibilities by blaming external people for problems they’ve created. The BCP wishes to make it clear that its members neither attended the Bobonong Congress nor participated in the bloodbath that ensued. No single dog at the Bobonong event belonged to a BCP member. The party didn’t contribute axes, machetes, knifes or weapons of any kind used in the internal BMD mayhem in Bobonong. No BCP Politburo or Exco member ever met any faction of the BMD at the time for purposes of conspiracy and clandestineness. The BMD leaders had their own internal differences and the collective leadership failed dismally to resolve them. At first attempts were made to blame the UDC and because that didn’t work, the blame is now shifted to the BCP. Blaming others for failure to civilly resolve intra-party conflicts is akin to abdication of responsibilities and admission of inherent leadership deficiencies,” reads Keorapetse’s statement.
He further warned that people should stop throwing wild accusations around without substantiating them with tangible and concrete evidence.
Last week in Parliament, Keorapetse pleaded with the UDC President Duma Boko to approach his counterpart Ndaba Gaolatlhe to consolidate the opposition in preparation for 2019 general elections, adding that it is this unity that Batswana need. Asked to comment on the matter, Mokgware revealed that AP was more than open to join the opposition coalition.
“We are still waiting for them to come to us, we have said this in many and different forums that we are not against opposition unity, if they approach us we are more than willing to listen,” said the AP Chairman.