Alliance for Progressives (AP) Chairman Maj. Gen Pius Mokgware has revealed that he will be working with Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) councillors in the coming 2019 general election to retain Gabane-Mankgodi constituency.
Mokgware, who is Gabane-Mankgodi Member of Parliament, stated this week that the Councillors are very hard working and he is prepared to work with them. He encouraged electorates to vote for them in next year’s polls. Gabane-Mankgodi has ten (10) Wards.
AP has one (1) ward - Gabane South West. UDC has five wards. Contracting partners Botswana National Front has three (3) - Tsolamosese, Gabane North West and Gabane South East while Botswana Congress Party has one (1)- Gabane North East and Botswana Movement for Democracy has one (1)- Diagane commonly known as Mogoditshane Block 9. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has four being Mankgodi South and North, Metsimotlhabe and Lesirane.
Mokgware told a press conference at his office in Gabane village this week that he has a good relationship with the UDC councillors and he is prepared to join forces with them next year. He said the intention is to ensure that the BDP does not win the constituency.
According to Mokgware as it has been his party’s stance, he also believes in opposition unity. The Gabane-Mankgodi MP expressed confidence that the AP will be working with UDC in 2019.
“I am confident that we would be working together in 2019. We believe in opposition unity as AP. Even though there is a party position, as an individual my position is that having worked with these councillors and the relationship having been healthy, we would have to work together for 2019.
“We need each other and I would not see anything wrong in endorsing them. We would definitely work with other like-minded opposition parties. Even though I cannot tell you what type of model we would use, I am confident that we would be together,” Mokgware stated.
However, some of the UDC councillors questioned the motive rea MP. “I do not totally agree with the MP. It has to be clear that we are speaking the same language. I mean how can he be saying he would be working with us while he has AP council candidates in our wards. We have made it clear to him that we need him at the UDC and will not support him while he is at AP and having council candidates who will battle with us next year. Do you think he would betray his own party to have us elected?” asked one of the councillors who attended the press conference.
Gabane-Mankgodi constituency has been allocated the troubled BMD within the UDC. The orange movement has since failed to find a candidate for the constituency. BNF and the BCP have since taken war to BMD during their recent conference where they expressed interest in constituencies allocated to the BMD.
Last month AP President Ndaba Gaolathe revealed that he has been having informal talks with BCP President Dumelang Saleshando and BNF President Advocate Duma Boko and President of Botswana People’s Party (BPP) Motlatsi Molapisi. AP is a breakaway party of the BMD following a bloodbath elective congress in Bobonong last July.
Gaolathe stated that opposition cooperation should not only come in the form of UDC. He said there are other models that could be pursued. “It is a fallacy to think coalition should be in the form of UDC. Coalition should have a certain characteristic and its foundation should be strong. If there are to be structured discussions they would not have to take a form of the UDC.
“We have not set a timeline as to when we would conclude any talks. Of course our informal chats would lead to formal conversation. As AP we believe to kick-start everything in the right direction we would need the original conveners of coalition. Circumstances force us to work together,” Gaolathe revealed.