BCP To Join UDC In 2016

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The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has resolved to join the Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC) in 2016.

The BCP revealed their plans to join the UDC in their familiarisation meeting with the Botswana Public Sector Union (BOPEU) leadership held at Babereki House on Thursday.

BCP secretary general, Kentse Rammidi, executive secretary Akanyang Magama, and Nevah Tshabang accompanied president Dumelang Saleshando to the meeting with the labour movement. The four met BOPEU president Andrew Motsamai and the secretary general Topias Marenga.

Motsamai was the first to break the news of the meeting of the two organisations when he posted in his Facebook page a picture of the delegations arriving at the meeting room with a caption that read, ‘One rare moment when you get to appreciate frank discourse’.


Confirming the meeting, Marenga said it was part of their calendar activities, which also include meeting the leadership of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party and the main opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change before year-end.  He said the meeting with the UDC is scheduled for today (Monday).  Regarding the BCP meeting, Marenga told The Monitor that, “They confirmed to us that it is true that they have a verbal understanding in place with the UDC, not to contest against each other in any by-election. They also told us that the BCP has decided to join the united opposition. Ba re 2016 o ka seke o wele ba ise ba wetse kgang ya go kopana le UDC (They said 2016 would not come to an end before they conclude the cooperation talks with UDC)”.

The BOPEU secretary general explained that as a labour movement, they have a policy that guides them in embracing critical stakeholders such as politicians for purposes of lobbying.

“We realise that we will need politicians across the political spectrum as we engage government in the proposed amendments of critical laws that directly affect the rights of workers and trade unions…. as you may be aware all four labour acts are being amended to the detriment of the workers and the labour movement in Botswana; the employment Act, the Public Service Act, the Trade Union & Employers Organisation Act, and the Trade Dispute Act, are all under-going amendments,” he said.

Marenga also said that the BCP delegation expressed satisfaction with the meeting, saying it was illuminating since they have a labour committee that would require consulting with key stakeholders such as BOPEU on labour matters that would inform the party’s labour policy.

For his part Saleshando, said they met leadership of BOPEU, as part of the party’s 2015 stakeholders’ consultations.

“We decided to start with BOPEU as a labour movement. We discussed issues of mutual concern, labour agenda in particular some reforms of proposed legislation related to workers,” he said.

The BCP president said they discussed development around democracy in Botswana and touched on issues of unity amongst workers and unity among opposition parties. He said they had decided to continue collaborating and exploring areas for potential action, and also keep in touch with the trade unions.

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