AP unfazed by resignations

Phenyo Butale PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Phenyo Butale PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Following a string of members’ resignations from the Alliance for Progressives (AP), the party has revealed that the situation is not a cause for concern because most of the departing people were already on their way out and not active.

AP’s parliamentary candidate in Serowe South during 2019 general election Brigadier Iphemele Kgokgothwane is the latest to quit AP following others last month. The party's 2019 council candidate for Molepolelo North, Maina Maswabi resigned last month and joined the Botswana National Front (BNF). Another member, AP's 2019 parliamentary candidate for Gaborone South also tendered his resignation last month and applied to rejoin the BNF.

AP secretary-general, Phenyo Butale admitted to Mmegi in an interview that no party would not be worried if they suddenly start losing members. He however, said the recent resignations are not that worrisome because the departures had long been coming. “We wish them the best in their future endeavours but these members have not been active so they were good as gone. We won’t be losing anything because they had long detached themselves from the AP,” added Butale.

With the AP forming an alliance with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) recently at the Bophirima Ward by-election in the Gaborone Bonnington South, it is said that some of the members were not in agreement with the move. The two parties, AP and BCP made it widely known that they were excited by the organic evolution of their beautiful working relationship. The members felt betrayed and instead chose to quit and join the BNF, which contested as part of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) at Bophirima.


After the by-election, BCP described the alliance as a near-perfect alignment of the two parties on values and principles. With the rumour of a new opposition coalition gaining momentum after the by-election, some of the opposing AP members felt it was better to jump ship before anything can materialise.

BCP through its spokesperson, Mpho Pheko revealed that it would be surprised and disappointed if the potentially very productive relationship does not assume a life of its own post Bophirima.

Explaining this displeasure from the members, Butale said if the concerned members were really active then they would be better placed to know where they can lodge their complaints. He said there are structures from the branch to the region where members can contribute to decisions. “If members are detached then they won’t be able to know what is happening in the party. Some of them wanted decisions to be taken in haste and that’s not how we operate,” he said.

Butale gave an example of some members in the Central District who wanted AP to work with the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) ignoring ways in which decisions are made in the AP. He said the members cannot just stay aloof and then come back to disagree with decisions taken by active members. Going forward, Butale said they still have a recruitment drive ongoing and recently they have been involved in regional tours as they gear up for their upcoming congress in July in Francistown.

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