“His comments must be out of ignorance”- Mohwasa
Former Member of Parliament for Mogoditshane, Sedirwa Kgoroba has issued a strong worded statement through a video on social media this week calling for and elective congress of the Umbrella for Democratic Change leadership.
In his video, the former Alliance for Progressives (AP) MP said that if the UDC wants to remove the Botswana Democratic Party from power, they must start being democratic themselves and hold an elective congress for each party to bring an equal number of delegates to vote for the leadership.
Kgoroba argued that positions that should be up for elections should include the office of the President, Chairman and National Executive Committee, adding that the President would then nominate his Vice.
The former MP said UDC should not be seen to be having a President that is elected by his friends and family as it is the mandate of the congress to do that.
However his words received mixed reactions from the UDC, a coalition that AP has signed working relations with. The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA speaks to UDC and AP leaders to get their views.
Moeti Mohwasa- UDC Head of Communications
The comments by Kgoroba have been noted and we can’t say much because we are not aware if they represent the view of his party or not.
Knowing and having interacted with the AP leadership, it is doubtful that the party identifies with this approach.
We however can’t let these comments pass as they could create confusion and anxiety within the society that is looking up to us for rescue from the BDP misrule.
We say this can’t be his party’s adopted approach because we have a Negotiations Forum where they present their views and positions.
We hope that his organisation will do the needful. As opposition parties’ activists we should respect channels of communication if we want to earn trust and confidence from the public.
Kgoroba is absolutely right to exercise his right to freedom of expression. No doubt about that.
In fact as the UDC we do not want our party to be made up of docile and non-critical members.
That criticism should only take place in properly convened meetings and channeled in an orderly manner.
Otherwise this will bring about schisms in an already sensitive environment. Whatever we do or say and the platforms we use in this regard should build cohesion.
You can imagine the mayhem that could ensue if those who hold a different view were to respond in the way he communicated his views.
We need to mention that there is a false narrative that is being peddled, that we are opposed to an elective congress.
The NEC of the UDC, the movement that seeks to unite opposition parties, resolved last year that the question of an elective congress be visited upon only after conclusion of Cooperation Talks that we are currently engaged in with BPF and AP.
An elective congress as provided for in the constitution shall be held at the right time.
What will be done then, just before the elective congress, will be to talk about the guidelines governing the whole process.
Those calling for elections are either doing so from a position of ignorance or malice.
With Kgoroba we believe it is out of ignorance, as we doubt malice could be a factor.
I say ignorance because he might not be aware of the resolution on a UDC elective congress. Our plea to our members is that, as we gravitate towards each other, with our diverse political cultures, we should work together towards building an organisational culture that can inspire and attract voters.
Phenyo Butale- AP’s Secretary General
AP is currently seized with the process of consulting its members through Regional Congresses on cooperation talks with other opposition parties and the model to be used will be discussed and thrashed out at these consultative meetings and at the negotiating table.
The AP position, which will be a product of this thorough and extensive consultation, will be shared through the official party communication channels.
Views expressed by individual members of the AP should not be viewed as party position but just as part of the rich divergent views that should be expected in a vibrant, versatile and pragmatic movement such as ours.
The AP remains steadfastly committed to a united opposition whose make up and the negotiation process will determine shape.