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Saleshando rejects Pilane’s bid for Gabs North

Publishing Date : 09 July, 2018

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

Leader of Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando will not support his controversial counterpart from Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Advocate Sidney Pilane’s parliamentary bid for Gaborone North constituency. 


In a leaked conversation, the Saleshando stated that he does not share values in Pilane and he will not ask anyone to vote for him in Gaborone North, a constituency where the former Gaborone Central legislator resides. Barely 14 months before the 2019 general elections skeletons are tumbling out of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) closet. The leaked WhatApp conversation, involving the UDC National Executive Committee members have somehow painted a gloomy portrait of the opposition coalition in the coming elections, with some observers already dismissing it is a failed project.


Hell broke loose when BMD leader, Pilane accused other coalition partners of having played a role in ensuring that BMD candidate lose against Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate in the recent Moshupa-Manyana constituency. UDC’s Tshepang Sethono lost to BDP’s Karabo Gare by 1,530 votes to 4,093. Saleshando, did not take kindly to persistent criticism of BCP by the BMD leader, which evidently is not happening for the first time. Saleshando also wanted Boko to intervene and reprimand Pilane for accusing other colleagues.


Pilane hinted in the conversation that. “In the Moshupa Manyana by-election, the BCP and BNF actively campaigned against the UDC parliamentary candidate and achieved victory for the BDP. That was contrary to all that the UDC is and represents.”  Saleshando who seemed to have seethed with anger took the war to Pilane. “O re tlhokela maitseo mme ole motona. We can't have a Trump that explodes saying only he knows the truth. You are downright disrespectful and rude. Your presence has been poisonous. We always get asked questions by the public gore what do we hope to achieve with you,” Saleshando said.


The former Gaborone Central legislator added, “Moshupa people have rejected you and your BMD. Others are going to continue to reject you. You tore apart the base that BNF and BCP had built. I had hoped that comrade Boko will counsel you on basics of leadership, but I guess he realizes you are beyond redemption. This group may as well be disbanded. Your poison has killed what we tried to build for Batswana. I now understand why Batswana in their quiet way mistrust you and regard you a criminal. This hired gun is too much. Let's stop leaving a lie, why do you think he has always been associated with the DIS.”


In a bitter exchange of words between the two leaders, UDC president Duma Boko tried to douse the raging inferno but in vain. “All insults, regardless of who says them must stop and we must get to the root of the toxicity and resolve it once and for all. That's what I am saying. These are principle issues on which there are no sacred cows. Let us hold our fire and arrange to meet and address all these issues, so we know where we stand,” Boko advised.


Saleshando told him. “As others have said, Mokwepa o mo ntlung. I will not be asking for anyone to vote for Pilane in Gaborone North, and I am not going to retract this. I share no values with him. Protect him and forget about victory in 2019. We will not be asking anyone to vote for BMD candidates while we bear the insults of their leader. Full Stop,” charged Saleshando.


Boko’s attempted cease fire fired the blanks as none of the two leaders, especially Saleshando gave him an audience but rather said, “Comrade President, if you can't reprimand Pilane when he goes out to provoke, kindly stay silent. I will not allow a crook and known criminal to insult me or the BCP, just because he leads an empty shell that can't mount any campaign.”


The Umbrella has been rattled by a number of internal wrangles including failure to adopt the constitution which will formally recognize BCP and some resolutions of February meeting. Some in the project, amid low voice have suggested that Pilane has been sent by the ruling to destroy the “only project that could emancipate Batswana,” and Saleshando corroborated that too. “Masisi may as well send Pilane a Thank You Card for 2019. If they have not sent him such a card for Moshupa I will be shocked.


Following these fallout, the UDC leadership are expected to meet and talk in ‘civilized’ manner after seven days. This according to sources is to protect the image of the project. However, it appears days of the coalition are numbered as various constituents parties will assemble for their conferences this month. It is at those that decisions to remain or to go by the parties especially BCP and BNF would be taken.

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