Just days after welcoming over 20 members from different parties, the Alliance for Progressives saw its week ending on a sad note when they lost a sitting MP. Haskins Nkaigwa to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Kagiso Molatlhegi confirmed Mkaigwa’s swapping of opposition chairs in Parliament on Friday morning when the session resumed. Nkaigwa has allegedly been frustrated by the reluctance of AP to rejoin UDC, which he believes is a viable option of assuming state power.
Before the Friday developments, AP had enjoyed positive reviews for its focus and strategic position.
Political Scientist Leonard Sesa singled out Alliance for Progressives (AP) as the only stable party in the country which however should hold on to their ambitions of causing any upset but focus on building for 2024 elections.
Sesa was speaking after AP welcomed over 20 members from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Botswana National Front (BNF), saying they were capitalizing on the chaos currently gripping the BDP and main opposition coalition – the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
“AP has been doing quite well on the ground in terms of mobilising since its inception with the party leader Ndaba Gaolathe coming up with strong strategies, more particularly towards economic makeover perspective. The party at the moment remains resolute as compared to other political sides and it’s good for them going forward,” he opined.
The AP welcomed former BDP stalwart Shima Monageng on Wednesday and will be representing the party as Parliamentary candidate in Molepolole South.
Monageng lost primary elections under the BDP ticket for the same constituency to Kabo Morwaeng.
‘Uncle Shima’ as Monageng is widely known had lodged appeal about loss to Morwaeng but his appeal was not successful.
Monageng said he dumped BDP because it has no sense of true democracy, pointing out that he cannot keep on defending the moves or things that are not defendable at all.
He was approached by Dr Magret Nasha to join the AP, and has since discovered that his new political home is a party on a mission to reach greater heights.
Party president Ndaba Gaolatlhe said the party will start the campaign and launching of its candidates in March with exact date still to be set. He said those who doubt AP’s potential for growth shall do so at their own peril; promising that they are set to shock most with a stunning result from this year’s elections.
Ailing agric sector
The AP leader reiterated that the economic revitalisation is needed, with investments crucial on several neglected key sectors.
Gaolatlhe said government was neglecting the agriculture sector here proper infrastructure was desperately needed. He bemoaned the small development budget of P1 billion set aside for the sector.
“The half of this inadequate slice of cake is invested into the ISPAAD programme which to some extent is failing to produce enough food. There is a serious need for the new Botswana we talk about to revolutionise the agriculture which is the strong pillar of the economy, and this could be taken from the perspective of the much better advanced economies of North East Asia which heavily depends on the agriculture sector,” Gaolathe said.
Gaolathe called for one bold ecosystem which will facilitate access to markets, diversification of the export market, which will position Botswana as a paragon of prosperity in Africa and the world.