Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) will soon write a letter to the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) asking to be part of opposition unity talks, The Patriot on Sunday has learnt.
To this end, the BMD National Executive Committee were scheduled to convene a closed door meeting yesterday (Saturday) to agree on the best strategy to approach the UDC before cooperation negotiations start in earnest. According to sources close to the developments, BMD want in on the talks. BMD Chairman Nehemiah Modubule confirmed in an interview on Thursday that they are interested in being part of the talks, confirming that the Saturday NEC meeting outcomes will dictate their next move. He noted that the
According to Modubule, BMD NEC led by the party president Sidney Pilane will start the consultation process to see how the party could approach the opposition negotiations forum to join. “It is vital to wait for the deliberations of NEC meeting. We will brief you as the media via press briefing. Let’s wait and see,” he said, cagey with details over the yesterday NEC meeting.
Modubule denied allegations that BMD is shunned by other opposition parties and was left out in the cold by UDC in relation to unity talks. “There is no way UDC can lock us out of the cooperation talks. BMD has not yet written to UDC proposing any form of cooperation yet. Both AP and BPF are the ones who approached UDC and we would also like to be part of the unity talks because we value the importance of the opposition unity,” he said.
He revealed that BMD is also waiting for the agreement contents of anticipated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the parties agreed on by the parties to guide them on way forward. He cautioned that UDC,BPF and AP should understand that they need the BMD in the talks for opposition unity to be succesful going to 2024 elections in order to win state power.
The former Lobatse MP reiterated that only a united opposition can bring change to Botswana by wrestling power from long time ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which he said must be voted out.
Political analyst Lesole Machacha said chances are very slim that UDC can accept BMD romance. He opined that following the sour relations that ensued between BMD and UDC last year that resulted in conflict that was resolved by courts, it will be very difficult two parties to reunite. “Cooperation is a game of big numbers and popularity. Today the BMD is very weak and it is no longer popular as compared to 2014.BMD could not offer anything much to the opposition but it is exciting to see how UDC will respond should BMD presents its proposals,” said Machacha.
Moreover, he said the coming of BMD in the picture could destroy the UDC relations with AP. “AP and BMD have toxic relationship that is irreparable. AP is splinter party of BMD after the dramatic bloody Matshekge congress. AP wont seat with BMD.UDC must be careful,” he said.
BMD entered in bitter court brawl with UDC when the latter challenged its expulsion from UDC. Observers pointed out that this tension between two parties somehow harmed UDC to attain state power as the conflict between the parties painted a picture of instability in UDC to voters.
However, Modubule downplayed narratives that BMD has no numbers that can be beneficial to the opposition going to 2024 elections stressing that BMD is still much alive and will cause upset.
UDC Head of Communication and who is spokesperson of Negotiations Forum Moeti Mohwasa was not available for comment as his mobile phone was off late Friday at time of going to print.