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Home » News » Politics » UDC business to proceed without BMD

UDC business to proceed without BMD

Publishing Date : 06 September, 2017

Author : UTLWANANG GASENNELWE

Opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is in no hurry to resolve one of its affiliate parties, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) impasse. It has this week emerged that following the meeting held at Francistown last weekend UDC could not come out clearly and pronounce a bold position on the matter.

Prior, the UDC headship was also accused of failing to arbitrate before the infamous controversial party congress that resulted in two gatherings regarded as congresses giving birth to two committees of the same party. Instead, they let the issue get out of control until only this week as both party committees, one controlled by Ndaba Gaolathe while the other by Sidney Pilane have been furnished with letters requesting for their authority to intercede in the deadlock. “Letters have been sent to both parties involved in the stand-off (Ndaba and Pilane committees) to request for authority to mediate in the matter,” a source who attended the key meeting at Francistown told WeekendPost.


It is still unclear why the mother body is seeking authority from the two groups to mediate in the matter. However what has been said and justified before is that the UDC constitution does not allow or state whether and how the party can mediate in the matters of its affiliate parties. This, they maintain is a way of UDC avoiding to be seen as poking its nose or “interfering” in the affairs of the member parties, which may set a bad precedence.


It is also understood that the UDC resolution from the weekend meeting is believed to have been enigmatic; the move which the UDC says was premeditated to keep their house tidy and in order. “Well there is nothing secret per se but we just wanted to make sure that we inform the concerned parties first before making our stand and progress subsequent to the meeting, public,” a key source who sits at the party meetings insisted. The source also pointed out that they will continue with UDC meetings without BMD which currently has to put its house in order. In fact, if push comes to shove, he said they are ready to continue and even contest the 2019 General Elections without the BMD, although it was cited as an extreme case scenario.


“If they can’t participate why should we be held hostage by their internal strife?” the source asked rhetorically. Meanwhile, when reached for comment on the matter, the UDC official spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa confirmed that indeed the party met in Francistown and resolved to send letters to the two BMD committees asking them for consent to mediate. “Yes they have been sent the letters this week and we are hoping they will respond before two weeks and then considering the feedback then the party will map a way forward on the issue,” he told this publication. Mohwasa said basically, the letters were saying that the UDC requests for a meeting with the two groups separately on the 22nd and 23rd of this month.


He emphasized that the way forward would be decided by what comes out of the meetings. On why the party is not resolving the matter speedily, he defended the UDC saying the issue is not as easy as people not involved think. “It’s not an easy matter. We take this issue seriously. We cannot impose our issues on them. In fact we want to build not destroy. So we will take time and see how we can resolve this amicably,” he said. According to the UDC mouthpiece, the Francistown meeting had the BMD matter as a priority and stand alone and that shows how they seriously took this matter.   


In other matters also emanating from the meeting in Francistown, the UDC also resolved to undertake the national launch of the new revamped UDC (inclusive of Botswana Congress Party (BCP)) later this year on the 25th November. The new UDC symbol which is of royal blue colour with four panels is also undergoing registering with Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) this week. The four panels symbolize the cooperation between the four contracting parties Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), BCP and BMD. The UDC will also be touring the country to campaign as soon as possible.

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