We have invited AP
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Spokesperson Rasina Rasina says the party’s weekend elective congress is set to go on in Lobatse as planned.
BMD’s Women’s Wing, Youth League and the Central Committee will all hold parallel congresses in the same area as per the Umbrella for Democratic Change’ (UDC)’S instructions.
This comes after the UDC had nullified the previous central committee elections that were held in Bobonong, under scandalous conditions characterized by a bitter fight between two rival factions, leading to a breakaway and the subsequent formation of a new political party.
This week, The Voice Staffer, Daniel Chida met with Rasina for an interview ahead of the big event.
Q. Sir can you tell us about preparations for your congress this weekend?
Preparations for the congress are going very well though taxing. Our target was 53 constituencies and we hope that by the time we go to the congress tomorrow everything will be in place.
Q. How is it going to work?
We will hold an official opening for the Central Committee followed by the Women and Youth League conferences in the same venue.
After that it will be decided on whether to continue using the same venue for all the congresses or look for an alternative venues for other leagues.
Q. How many people are you expecting?
We are expecting 36 delegates from the 53 constituencies. Like I said to rally all the delegates for a trip to Lobatse is engaging because we have three conferences running concurrently.
Some of our structures have collapsed in all Gaborone constituencies, two in Maun, Chobe and Nkange but we have members who will come as observes only.
Q. How much do you think it will cost you?
It will cost us at least P2 million or more.
Q. Why this huge bill?
When you have less time to prepare it becomes expensive unlike when you have enough time to do so.
Q. Prior to Bobonong you mentioned that only delegates were to be allowed inside the venue, is it still the same?
No we have agreed that the congress will be open to everyone except the closed sessions, such as voting for resolutions.
Q. Why the change now?
The situation prior to Bobonong was different from now. We couldn’t take risks then.
Q. Are we going to see similar security measures to what you put in place in Bobonong?
No, but we are going to have marshals to help people with parking and other logistics.
Q. Who have you invited?
We have invited all Opposition parties including Alliance for Progressives, all Trade Unions and Democratic for Alliance (DA) from South Africa.
DA will be representing itself, African Liberal Network and Liberal International. Whoever wants to attend will attend whoever doesn’t that’s is up to them.
Q. Don’t you think it is too early to be engaging AP after such a horrible breakaway?
We are extending an olive branch and if they don’t see the need to work with other opposition parties then there is nothing we can do.
It does not mean that if we didn’t agree then, we can’t work together in future.
Q. It is obvious that by now you know which positions will be hotly contest for, share with us?
I had expected a number of people to show interest in the Youth League Committee but it looks like people will be vying for Central Committee membership.
Q: Are we going to see Sidney Pilane being voted back into the presidency.
We are nominating members from the floor and if Pilane were to be nominated, it would be up to him to accept or turn the nomination down.
Q. What about yourself?
I am not contesting for any position.
Q. Lastly, tell us about your relationship with Botswana People’s Party?
I had simply requested for political shelter at BPP for sometime but that did not make me a member of their party.
I was with them just so that I could be an active member of the UDC.