- President says he is not mandated to convene All-Party Caucus
- Saleshando says he forgets that he called one when it served his purpose
President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s inconsistent stance on calling an all-party conference before the general elections point to a dishonest man, the leader of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando, has said.
Saleshando recently wrote to President Masisi about calling an all-party caucus to address pressing electoral concerns but the President turned him down on the basis of the issues raised by Saleshando being sub judice due to their active status before the courts.
The controversy deepened when President Masisi seemed to change his position on the matter when he spoke in Moshupa recently where he had gone to register for the elections.
Constitution of Botswana
He said the Constitution of Botswana does not mandate him to convene such a conference but clearly outlines the reasons upon which such a caucus may be called.
Responding to Masisi’s statements, Saleshando acknowledged the constitutional provisions but accused the President of inconsistency and conveniently shifting his position.
“Masisi is a dishonest man,” he asserted. “He has now shifted from his previous position that the matter is sub judice because that is no longer convenient.”
The BCP leader noted that Masisi had convened such a conference before and suggested that the President had applied constitutional principles selectively for his personal benefit.
“He must be reminded, because he forgets easily, that he convened the same conference for reasons other than the stipulated ones,” Saleshando said. “Because that was beneficial to him, he did not see anything wrong or unconstitutional about it.”
Meanwhile Saleshando has revealed that he will write a follow-up letter to the President on the importance of convening an all-party conference.
The All Party Conference was conceptualised in the 1990s as an annual gathering of all political parties in Botswana to sit in a consultative forum on equal footing for discussion of matters that collectively impact them and the nation.