BCP sends UDC unity talks proposition


FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has officially declared its readiness to open unity talks with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando, told Mmegi recently that the party wrote a letter to the UDC alerting them that they are ready for unity talks.

“We also gave them a draft agreement proposal for the by-elections. Although we are ready to engage in talks we will not pressurise them. Talks will start at a time that is mutually convenient to both parties,” Saleshando said.

He could not state when the letter was issued to the UDC, except that it was given to senior UDC officials recently. Mmegi has, however, learnt that the letter was delivered to the party early last week.

Saleshando is convinced that the much talked about talks between BCP and UDC will begin next year.

“Although we are ready I still maintain that talks will begin next year because the year is coming to an end.”

Yesterday UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa, would not confirm nor deny that the BCP has written a letter to the UDC declaring its readiness to engage in unity talks.

“I am not willing to discuss anything with regards to unity talks with the BCP. There is nothing much to share with the public and the media at the moment,” Mohwasa said in a telephone interview.

A high-ranking UDC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, however confirmed the receipt of the letter. He said the letter was delivered to the party early last week.

Nearly two weeks ago the BCP told the media in a press briefing that it is ready to start unity talks with UDC. At the time the BCP also said that it would write to the UDC to declare its readiness to start opposition talks.

The BCP was recently given the go ahead to engage in unity talks with the UDC after engaging in a countrywide consultation with its (BCP) membership. On the other hand, the UDC has often maintained that it is ready to engage in unity talks with the BCP, but was waiting for the latter to consult its members. In addition, should it come to pass the memorandum of agreement on by-elections will mean that the two parties will support each other during by-elections before unity talks are finalised.

The support will include among others paving way for the best-positioned party to contest by-elections in case of a vacancy.

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