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Saleshando rejects Khama powered UDC campaigns

Publishing Date : 20 May, 2019


Vice President of the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has poured cold water on suggestions linking the opposition coalition with ex-president Lt Gen Ian Khama in the campaign towards the impending 2019 general Elections.

There have been reports that Khama may be roped in the UDC campaign in an endeavour to unseat the “common enemy” which is referred to the incumbent president Mokgweetsi Masisi and his administration. The move also saw Khama confirm at the recent contentious Serowe kgotla meeting that he will be on a rampage to de-campaign some ruling party potential law makers while assisting some opposition UDC candidates.  

Speaking on the developments, Saleshando told Weekend Post this week that, “we don’t have any agreement with Khama, whatsoever, and we will not arrange any. There are no plans for joint campaigns with Khama.” The UDC VP continued: “I can confirm that UDC has even not approached Khama, and the party will not approach Khama to assist us with the coming national election campaigns. We want to take over government so he cannot be part of the equation.”  

According to Saleshando, this is a BDP battle alone and Khama should not use UDC to score cheap political goals against his arch-enemy, Masisi. “Khama has fights with the BDP and we cannot, as has never before, think that we share any values with them,” the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) president lashed out. He also explained that the BDP is not necessarily fighting with Khama alone but many others like Prince Maele, Biggie Butale and Moyo Guma as evidenced by their suspensions and expulsions.

“So the issue is not about BDP fighting Khama but BDP fighting itself. BDP is party ruining itself and a party in turmoil,” Saleshando highlighted.  The UDC VP reminisced that BDP blamed Khama for corruption but Khama’s record is a record for BDP.  “They are totally inseparable,” he said. However, the Maun West MP candidate further told this publication that if Khama or anyone, can tell electorates to vote for UDC, “we will welcome that. Its Khama choice to campaign for the UDC. But we are not going to enter into any agreement with them.”

According to the ex-Gaborone Central two time law maker, If Khama is using his power as a paramount chief of Bangwato, to lure and influence voters to elect UDC, at his own volition, then let it be. Moreover, Khama’s time in politics and government as a key political player is over, Saleshando said while adding that “he should just accept it and move forward.” Meanwhile, it is not clear if Duma Gideon Boko, the UDC leader, shares the same sentiments with that of his Vice President.

In the past, Boko was linked to providing legal representation to both Khama and his close associate and Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) boss Isaac Kgosi before. Khama had also said at the debatable Serowe meeting that people should not be amused should they see him in Boko’s hired helicopter which he promised he is likely to request a ride in.

UDC denies BDP, AP invitation to its party manifesto

According to Saleshando, the UDC will not invite other political formations for the launch of their party manifesto scheduled for next weekend (18 May 2019) at Maun. This is notwithstanding that another opposition Alliance for Progressives (AP) has invited both UDC, BDP as well as the beleaguered Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), and only the orange liberal party turned up. On the other hand, BDP also at its manifesto recently held in Gaborone and they had invited UDC, AP and the BMD and none rocked up.

However, Saleshando justified why they not inviting the other parties to their manifesto: “we are not inviting the other local political parties; BDP, AP and the like because we fundamentally disagree with them.” He continued: We are selling our manifesto, why invite them?” he asked rhetorically.  “BDP doesn’t believe in creating jobs but we do. We want the constitution that embraces everyone.

We want jobs back to Botswana while the BDP wants tourism that’s foreign controlled. So clearly we are at variance.” He said they will only invite Civil Society Organisations like Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), trade unions, Botswana Network on Ethics law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), Business Botswana and diplomatic community and/or embassies.



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