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Home » News » General » AP captures UDC lawyers

AP captures UDC lawyers

Publishing Date : 24 October, 2017

Author : AUBREY LUTE

As the war of words rages on between the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) sympathizers and the supporters of the newly former Alliance for Progressives (AP), the plot is now thickening. UDC insiders are concerned that the bigger plan of the Alliance for Progressives is to malign UDC leader, Duma Boko and present him as a man unfit to lead and later exhibit their posterboy Ndaba Gaolathe as the liberator.


UDC insders are said to be taking keen interest on who is linked to the Alliance for Progressives and who has joined. While the Alliance for Progressives are said to be afraid that taking on the UDC could be akin to moving a mountain, they are convinced that they could explore legal loopholes that could unsettle and rattle the UDC, especially using the disgruntled Botswana People’s Party (BPP).


The BPP has made it clear that it will not be part of a UDC that has the Botswana Congress Party (BPP). The BPP has been very cozy with Ndaba Gaolathe’s faction from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) days. According to some sources close to UDC insiders, there are fears that there is a plot aimed at distablising the UDC and AP assuming the status of the “serious alternative” forcing some unhappy sections of the UDC contracting parties except the BMD to force their leaders to consider the Alliance for Progressives as a viable route out of the chaotic UDC.


Already the Alliance for Progressives has captured the unofficial Council of Elders of the UDC and recently the Botswana National Front (BNF) Youth League President made headlines after he joined the Alliance for Progressives trashing UDC leader, Duma Boko’s leadership credentials in the process. UDC inner circle is concerned that those sympathetic to Ndaba Gaolathe within the BNF will be used to cause discontent to push the objectives of the new party.


They believe the grand plan which is supported by some in the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) and some business people who have been supporting the UDC project is to propel Ndaba Gaolathe to the leadership of a “new arrangement of a coalition”.A group of lawyers were seen in Lobatse this past week, these lawyers appear to share the commonality of their outspokenness in political matters. Some in the UDC inner circle were concerned that the meeting of these lawyers who are speculated to be sympathetic to Ndaba Gaolathe further sparked fears that they could be “exploring” gaps that they could employ to unsettle the UDC.


Tshiamo Rantao, a BNF activist in his days is one of the lawyers who were spotted in Lobatse. Although he has an explanation for why he was there, he made it clear that he is sympathetic to Ndaba Gaolathe. Asked for a comment Rantao said he never undertaken an official meeting with any representative of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and newly formed Alliance for Progressives (AP) thus far.


He clarified that while at Lobatse this week, he was only attending a series of court cases involving, and which he acted on behalf of, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Botswana and Sunday Standard newspaper. While at Lobatse, he said, he together with other esteemed attorney Dick Bayford and another Counsel only known as Phuthego had lunch at Cumberland Hotel where they discussed the political landscape of the country at length but casually and just on a personal level.


Rantao said they equally expressed concern like other Batswana who are worried particularly in relation to the infightings within the opposition ranks. He highlighted that while personally he sympathizes with Ndaba’s AP, he is not politically active and he has not even met, at least so far, with any AP or worse still UDC representatives following the break-away of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD)’s Ndaba faction to form AP.  


Meanwhile the Alliance for Progressives will be officially launched on 28th October this year and it is at this event that a list of its supporters and well-wishers will be revealed. At the weekend in Francistown AP Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi made telling statements when he shared that the best that other UDC parties can do would be to emulate the AP by quitting the UDC then form their own coalition without the Sidney Pilane led BMD if they want progress.


“Pilane took his time strategically planning to destroy opposition parties. His initial target was to destroy the BMD and he has achieved his mandate. Now he is going for the UDC. He has already started the process of destroying the UDC,” explained the Francistown South lawmaker. Alliance for Progressives (AP) is expected to launch in Gaborone at Baisago University on October 28 this year. The party will officially launch its logo and party colors on October 14. Purple will be the primary colour of the AP while navy blue and white will be the secondary colours. Mmolotsi further advised that the UDC leadership might end up having to form a new coalition without Pilane and BMD.

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