- Coalition says it cannot guarantee Boko’s presence at next NEC meeting
- Contracting parties encouraged to send agenda items ahead of meeting
- Analyst says a split in the opposition will work for BDP
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has demanded an apology from its leader Duma Boko for failing to attend the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that was held in January this year.
This comes as coalition partners prepare to gather for the second time this year in a meeting scheduled for Mahalapye on Monday next week. UDC spokesman Moeti Mohwasa has told this publication that the BCP is yet to receive an apology from Boko following his absence from the January meeting.
“I can confirm that Boko did not attend the meeting due to personal reasons but some people have also missed previous NEC meetings,” stated Mohwasa, adding that he cannot say whether the UDC leader will attend the meeting in Mahalapye.
“NEC always meets to discuss issues and when we meet an agenda item will be adopted at the meeting and we expect all parties within the coalition to be represented at the meeting,” said Mohwasa.
He noted that all parties are expected to send their agenda items before being adopted after which the NEC will proceed to look at minutes of the January NEC meeting. Contrary to utterances made by UDC vice president Dumelang Saleshando recently, Mohwasa said the January NEC meeting was held and all contracting partners were present.
“That meeting took place and there are minutes to indicate that members attended it,” he asserted. “So we will go through the minutes of the meeting that some people say did not take place.”
Saleshando told the people on the sidelines of the weekend bye-election at Bophirima Ward in Gaborone that the January meeting did not get underway because those who turned up did not form a quorum.
“I can confirm to you as the vice of president of the UDC that the January NEC meeting did not take place,” Saleshando told a crowd.
Meanwhile, after an intense battle in the bye elections, the Publicity Secretary of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dr Mpho Pheko, says the party will attend the NEC meeting in order to iron out many issues.
“We have been trying to state our grievances and continue to do that and shall continue to do that but the agenda of the meeting is not controlled by us,” Dr Pheko said in an interview. “So we will send the agenda item to the meeting and take it from there but we are certainly going to attend.”
Even so, she was cagey regarding what issues the BCP has proposed ahead of the meeting, saying it is inappropriate to discuss issues for NEC meetings in public.
At the Botswana People’s Party (BPP), president Motlatsi Molapisi says there is a need to ensure attendance because there are burning issues that ought to be resolved without delay.
“I want to believe that the intention of the meeting is to address all burning issues because it is a given that when there are conflicts within the party, we also get affected as contracting partners,” Molapisi said.
Meanwhile political analyst Wankie Wankie has urged opposition parties to unite against the BDP even in the absence of ideological alignment. “Should the BCP-AP coalition decide to go it alone in 2024 general elections, the results will be calamitous for the opposition block as a whole,” Wankie said.
“This is because a protest vote will work in favour of the BDP and the opposition vote will be split among the various opposition parties, serving to weaken the opposition.”