By: Phaladi Letswamotse
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Dumelang Saleshando said his party will take action against its members who seek to undermine opposition cooperation efforts. Saleshando has also warned members who belittle and insult the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership.
Saleshando told the media on Sunday that, “any statement that seeks to belittle the UDC and its leadership will not be tolerated. We all have to respect the party position.”
He said all party members holding leadership positions within party structures should execute their duties and ensure that structures function to their best capacity in attracting new members to the BCP.
The BCP leadership took a nationwide consultative exercise during the month of October 2015 seeking an unconditional mandate to engage the UDC on the issue of opposition cooperation.
The BCP President said it was necessary to seek the buy in of BCP members and uphold the party principle of internal democracy in decision making, a virtue he said founders of the BCP committed to from the beginning.
He said all the 14 regions of the BCP resolved to give the party leadership unconditional mandate to engage the UDC on cooperation.
“As a result of this, the central committee adopted two resolutions; the first resolution is that the BCP should enter in an agreement with the UDC confirming our cooperation in all by-elections that will be held between now and 2019 general elections,” he said.
Saleshando added that the central committee adopted the draft memorandum of agreement presented by the party national executive and further directed that the agreement be presented to the leadership of the UDC for their consideration and signing by the two parties as soon as possible.
The second resolution adopted by the BCP central committee is that the national executive committee should formally request the UDC leadership to engage in cooperation talks between the two parties at the earliest convenient time.
“The BCP leadership confirms that it is ready to commence with the talks and we will formally approach the UDC on a mutually convenient time table for the talks.” He requested sympathizers of the UDC and BCP to allow the two parties to engage in cooperation talks in a cordial manner.
“With the internal consultation now concluded I wish to call all the BCP members to respect the next phase of the negotiations with the UDC. This phase requires all members who make public pronouncements to respect our negotiating partners,” he said.