The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Central Committee (CC) will be acting against the five Members of Parliament (MPs) who defied the party’s position over attending the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) caucus this past Sunday, The Botswana Gazette has been informed.
The party’s Central Committee is expected to hold an emergency meeting sometime this week to discuss possible sanctions against Dithapelo Keorapetse, Kenny Kapinga, David Tshere, Onnetse Ramogapi, and Never Tshabang. These five acted against the party’s order to not attend any UDC activity given the hostile relations between the two opposition parties. They further endorsed the removal of BCP president Dumelang Saleshando as Leader of Opposition in Parliament. BCP Spokesperson Dr. Mpho Pheko confirmed in an interview that the party’s leadership will be taking the MPs to task.
“There are several steps that the party can consider. The actions of these MPs warrants action, and we will be meeting soon to discuss it,” said Pheko.
She further explained that the CC is endorsed by the party’s constitution to take action against any member who acts against the interests of the party. “The CC can either warn the member, suspend or even expel them. But we might as well take the matter to the conference to decide, “ she concluded.
Kenny Kapinga, one of the BCP MPs who attended the UDC caucus revealed that the BCP parliament caucus that met on Saturday never agreed on any position to boycott UDC parliamentary activities. “We did not reach any consensus. There was never a clear party position on this matter. We did not all agree on it. We are not fighting as the BCP, we are just having different views on a core fundamental issue. We are members of the BCP but we were elected to parliament through the UDC ticket. “
Kapinga said it would be very unfortunate if the BCP leadership were to take any action against them.
In addition, sources close to developments believe that the five MPs could be preparing to dump the BCP for the UDC. Article 6.1 of the UDC constitution allows for an individual to join the UDC without being a member of any of the contracting parties.