The Monitor :: Umbrella Shade Cool For BPP
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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Umbrella Shade Cool For BPP

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana People’s Party (BPP) has resolved not to leave the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), The Monitor has established.
By Chakalisa Dube Mon 06 Nov 2017, 13:03 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Umbrella Shade Cool For BPP








Party followers and the central committee members met over the weekend at Setlalekgosi Junior Secondary School where the majority agreed that they should not ditch the UDC.

On Saturday, the party initially held a leadership forum for its structural leaders before a central committee meeting was held to make a final decision on the way forward for the BPP.

“Our intention has never been to leave. We played a critical part in the formation of the UDC and on Saturday the mood amongst our members (based on presentations they made at the leadership forum) and party leaders (during a central committee meeting) was that we should not leave. We intend to continue to push the old UDC to address our grievances amicably before joining the new UDC,” BPP vice president, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso said after the meeting.

BPP members have often differed with reference to the idea of quitting the UDC. A majority of the members reportedly believe that the party cannot thrive outside the UDC.

Lenyatso added, “We want to see things done the right way. We want the UDC to respect all structures set up to run the party. We desire to see a proper functioning UDC. Decisions should be taken collectively not individually”.

Lenyatso noted that the BPP leadership is meeting the UDC president Duma Boko on Thursday where they will raise some of their grievances. He expressed hope that their grievances would be dealt with soon.

Amongst its grievances, the BPP does not believe that Botswana Congress Party (BCP) was properly welcomed into new UDC. The BPP has also made demands for more constituencies to contest at the 2019 general elections but the UDC has not acted on the request. In protest, the

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BPP has not been participating in UDC activities for some months.

The Monitor has established that the BPP is willing to let go all its grievances regarding administrative issues of the opposition coalition including its demand for more constituencies and the transition of the BCP into the new UDC.

The party, however wants the UDC leadership to write a detailed statement condemning the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) violence that happened in Matshekge at the party’s elective congress.

Lenyatso conceded that the BPP believes that the UDC could have written a statement solely condemning incidents at Matshekge last July. It is widely thought that Sidney Pilane’s faction fueled the violence although he maintains the contrary.

“The BPP holds a strong view that the UDC should have released a statement solely condemning the incidents at Matshekge. In fact, if the UDC does not release a statement condemning the violence in Matshekge we may do so. Not directly condemning the violence does not portray us well as a party (UDC).” Lenyatso said that over the weekend the BPP leadership formally agreed that it would lobby the UDC to explore various models of working with the newly formed Alliance for Progressives (AP).

“We view them as a progressive organisation and we believe that working with them can add value to the UDC. At the BPP, our constitution embraces the idea of working with any organisation we deem credible and progressive. The BPP will remain friends of the AP.”

It remains to be seen if the BPP will keep its promise not to ditch the UDC. Some BPP leaders are said to be strongly scheming to jump the UDC ship in favour of the newly formed AP.

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