Boko summons BMD factions for hearing

Nicholas Mokwena
Monday, 21 August 2017
UDC president Duma Boko UDC president Duma Boko

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has summoned the two warring Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) factional National Executive Committees to present their case before UDC jurisdiction next week.

Botswana Guardian has gathered that the secretive resolution reached by the UDC leadership during a meeting held in Francistown this past weekend was that the two factions should be called to appear before the UDC executive committee. 

BMD has two NECs - one led by Advocate Sidney Pilane and the other led by Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South, Ndaba Gaolathe. The two NECs emerged from parallel congresses that were held in Bobonong village last month.

According to the resolution, Gaolathe’s NEC is scheduled to appear on the 22nd of August 2017 and Advocate Pilane’s NEC would appear the following day on the 23rd of August 2017. The UDC leadership has decided that since the two camps have presented their case in writing, they should now be called to present their case in person at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng. 

A letter signed by UDC President Duma Boko, seen by Botswana Guardian, addressed to the twofactions states that each party should communicate its commitment in writing by today Friday 18th August 2017 to the UDC President.

“The UDC appreciates the cooperation it has been accorded by yourselves in relation to this matter and hopes that you will continue to work with it as it addresses this matter. The UDC engaged in very robust, frank and fruitful deliberations on the matter and resolved that the BMD is embroiled in a crisis that threatens not only the organisation itself but also the UDC; that the UDC was under obligation to intervene in the BMD matter and engage efforts, whatever they would entail, to attain a resolution of the BMD crisis and it resolved to accordingly intervene,” reads the letter in part. 

Boko also stated in the letter that the UDC National Executive Committee has rejected a complaint by Pilane led faction that Dr Prince Dibeela should not be part of the deliberations. There were complaints that Dr Dibeela, who doubles as BNF Vice President and UDC International Relations Secretary, was sympathetic to the Gaolathe faction. 

Boko stated in the letter that it was further agreed that the UDC should engage the two groups to receive any and all inputs and representations on the matter both oral and written and any that each may wish to place before the NEC. The UDC shall be guided in all its efforts regarding this matter by its main essence and animating impulse, being the unity of the opposition, he said in the letter dated 14th of August 2017.

This could be a long journey for the UDC to resolve the BMD matter. Although both camps have stated that they are willing to compromise, their demands clearly show that one camp wants to prevail over the other. Gaolathe’s camp wants a fresh congress to be called but Advocate Pilane’s camp will not have anything of the sort.

Gaolathe’s faction has threatened that should the decision of the UDC not in any way be in their favour, they would have to consider dumping the BMD to form a new party. The faction is allegedly enjoying the support of Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), another contracting UDC member. 

The BMD fiasco has resulted in the BPP snubbing two UDC meetings, one held in Gaborone and the other held last week in Francistown. The UDC leader Advocate Duma Boko has claimed that BPP is not attending the UDC meeting because the party is still to elect representatives to sit in the coalition’s executive committee. However in an interview with this publication a fortnight ago BPP President Motlatsi Molapisi indicated that as the UDC Chairman he was not invited to the meeting. 

UDC Head of Publicity, Moeti Mohwasa, stated that the BPP could have attended were it not for some miscommunication. During Saturday’s Press conference Boko unequivocally stated that UDC will rise to the occasion with a surprise outcome in the current BMD impasse. 

“In the last weeks news headlines, it was alleged that UDC was in disarray and I have to inform you journalists, activists and all smiling faces, that carry hope and inspire courage, that the story lines attempted to paint a very gloomy picture concerning the UDC. I wondered in which planet they live since the UDC is alive as people ain’t seen nothing yet at UDC. The UDC I inhabit is alive and well and it is also vibrant and I won’t repeat it again as you will bear witness when activities unfold to show the nation that the party is alive,” Boko said. 

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