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AP will not challenge UDC allies

Publishing Date : 05 February, 2018


The Alliance for Progressives (AP), President Ndaba Gaolathe has announced that the party will contest the 2019 general elections, but will not run in constituencies where like minded individuals in the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are contesting.

Gaolathe announced this week at the party’s 1st Annual Policy Statement held in Mogoditshane. “We are believers in unity of purpose. This is why in the run up to the 2019 elections, we do not even need to have embarked on anything official to know that there will be some constituencies at which we will not run, especially constituencies where those we consider as political family and at the same time share our values are already available to serve our nation,” he announced.

“We do not need anything official to know that there will be such constituencies.” Gaolathe said in 2012, most of those who are in AP leadership laboured diligently to assemble a political collective that included the Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana People’s Party (BPP)  and the Botswana Movement for Democracy(BMD), and that if they did not believe in unity of  purpose they would not have been part of that collective.  

“Many of our activists sacrificed their jobs, businesses and their lives to build that collective, known as the UDC, the Umbrella for Democratic Change. It was painful yet beautiful.” He said, through the entire journey, they were able to build friendships with other opposition members to an extent that walls that existed among and between political formations came down.

“So much so we the Progressives believe we still are family with those we journeyed with at the Botswana National Front and the Botswana People’s Party even though they call themselves by a different name.” Gaolathe also extended the olive branch to Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which was not part of the UDC alliance in the build up to 2014 general elections as he stated that although they did not work with the BCP and other organizations then, they still believe they have friends in their midst too.

“Our working relations, and I take my specific example, with leaders such as Rre Molapisi of the BPP are impeccable. Rev Dibeela and Hon Kesupile of the BNF are two remarkable servants with whom I share the same values and with whom I occasionally pray,” he said.

“We cherish a reverence to our conveners of 2012 and to the network of elders at the BNF, BOFEPUSU, churches and other associations that counsel us. And when we at the Progressives talk about values, we talk about servants such as these.”
He said even though they will support UDC candidates whom they share values with, they we will run for elections as AP in many constituencies.

“We will do so because we feel the obligation to offer the people of Botswana representatives that are the best and brightest, representatives that share a value system of integrity, honesty, decency and the respect of the sanctity of the human life,” he stated. “We are offering this country the best chance of the type of Government that will deliver our vision, a Botswana which is a wholesomely fulfilling and flourishing family, an African paragon of nation-building. It is our honest offer to the people, and our naïve trust and hope is that the people of Botswana are a wise nation, they will make a choice.”

Gaolathe said party members should continue standing for what they believe is right. “Victory is not only electoral. Victory, true victory, is in standing up for our beliefs every day, and pursuing our vision. We have already brought so much hope to our people,” he said.



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?