“Apologise for what?” – Saleshando

Kabelo Dipholo
NOT BUDGING: Saleshando
  • No ‘sorry’ coming anytime soon from the BCP

If the leadership of the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are still expecting a retraction or an apology from the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), they should forget it!

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The BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando’s tone in an interview with The Voice this week was unwavering, and certainly not one of a man willing to yield in the on-going feud between his party and the rest of the UDC.

In a heated, drawn-out National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Palapye last Saturday, BCP was ordered to retract all the negative statements made about UDC in the media.

In particular, the umbrella’s hierarchy were unhappy with Saleshando’s comments about President Duma Boko, in which he accused the UDC leader of running the organisation alone.

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The UDC’s NEC are due to meet again on 25 June, with the coalition’s spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa, making it clear they expect the BCP to have complied with the binding NEC resolution by then.

However, “Apologise for what,” was Saleshando’s curt reply when The Voice contacted him on Wednesday evening.

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Saleshando said their position about the Palapye meeting and the subsequent Press Conference addressed by Mohwasa is clear.

“What was said is not reflective of what was discussed in the meeting. All our submissions were ignored and now we are being asked to retract. Retract what, and apologise for what?” he fired.

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The BCP President went on to compare the UDC to a man on his death bed who rejects medication because he believes he’s been bewitched. (UDC e tshwana le monna a hedile, a gana melemo a re o loilwe ke mmangwaneagwe).

“I don’t expect the NEC to give you a blow by blow account of what was discussed in the meeting, but give you a true reflection of what was discussed,” he told The Voice.

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Saleshando said it was disappointing that they spent almost seven hours in a meeting and still failed to address the ‘burning issues’ within the UDC.

Despite his deathbed analogy, the UDC second-in-command believes there is a future for the umbrella, but only if they address these ‘issues’.

“We first must acknowledge that there’s a problem, because our issues are solvable,” he insisted.

“The UDC must self correct,” added Saleshando.

Asked whether they’re ready to leave the UDC should they be expelled, Saleshando’s response was a cold “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

That may be sooner rather than later!

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