Rejected and purged by the leadership of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) new recruit, legislator for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane has been given the green light to set up a regional office for the umbrella in Francistown.
Moswaane told The Patriot on Sunday that setting up of such an office in the northern region is a suggestion he has carried since his days at Domkrag where the leadership did not embrace the idea.
He explained that it is important to have a regional office that will help resolve local party issues at regional level without having to look up to head office, as well as to facilitate holding regular meetings in the region. “Francistown is a city, and a center for the northern part of Botswana with a number of constituencies. It is a big area and it will never function well without an office to coordinate all opposition parties. The office will offer guidance to general membership from suitably qualified people,” he added.
Asked to comment on the latest developments and their implications on his future prospects, UDC Parliamentary candidate for Francistown West in the 2019 general elections, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso said he welcomes the idea of setting up an office in the region. He, however, said he will wait to find out if Moswaane’s assignment means more than just setting up the office. For his part, Moswaane said he has no interest in any leadership positions in the UDC just as he was not interested in any leadership positions in the BDP. He emphasized that his only focus is ensuring that opposition parties defeat Domkrag at the next elections.
Moswaane revealed that he currently has no intentions of joining any political party under the UDC coalition. He highlighted that the decision came after he realised that joining one of the coalition members over the other would cause conflict between the parties. “Should I pick a party now, wars will start. I am focused on the UDC project. Affiliated political parties are waiting for me to reveal which party I will join but at the moment I am focusing on the bigger picture for the UDC, because that is how we can win elections. If we start talking about individual parties we become divided. I am a member of all parties under the umbrella, I will attend all congresses called by each party as an observer only,” he said.
Moswaane said joining the UDC coming from the ruling party will be beneficial to the coalition because he has inside experience on how the BDP operates. He cautioned that when dealing with the BDP, the UDC must be very organized hence he identified the need to help set up a regional office in Francistown. He suggests that doing a SWOT analysis on the BDP as well as a similar analysis on the UDC is very crucial as it can give an informed and in-depth perspective of both institutions.
The MP further cautioned the general membership of the UDC against the culture of pointing fingers, peddling misinformation and endless blame games as doing that gives their biggest opponent ammunition to capitalize on such weaknesses. Moswaane further emphasized that UDC members must avoid character assassination, which is often peddled by some individuals from political parties that are partners of the same coalition. “We need to be united and forgive mistakes. We have a mammoth task ahead of us of uniting our people,” he advised.
In the same interview, the controversial legislator emphasized that he was impressed at how things are done at his new political home compared to how things were done in his former party the BDP, citing that in the UDC all members enjoy the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas with leadership while at the BDP no one was willing to listen unless the President is the one talking. “I have found peace here. I am enjoying myself and I am enjoying my position as MP under UDC. There are no petty issues, there is so much cooperation whereas at the BDP there is so much sabotage within the party that one could actually lose their life due to internal fights,” he said.
Moswaane also revealed that since he has just started a new journey with the UDC, he intends to stand for elections in the 2024 with the guidance of leadership of the coalition. “I want to see opposition parties winning the 2024 general elections, not just Parliamentary seats,” he said.