Umbrella for Democratic Change President Advocate Duma Boko has admitted that there have been some flaws in the coalition leadership. “Leadership is not perfect. We made mistakes. At times we lost sight of certain responsibilities - the need to communicate better, for instance.
“But we believe strongly and have spread our commitment to certain values and principles, like the rule of law and human rights and democracy and the notion of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual”, he told a UDC Conference in Gaborone this week.
He added that the leadership of the UDC has one shared objective, which is to create decent lives for all Batswana, as defined by the party manifesto. Boko said the UDC has come under attack and that sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change.
The UDC leader indicated that more often the attack is manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep the UDC divided and keep “us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege.” He said their opponents fear their strength because they know their time has come. “They know this election will be our victory. We will stay steadfast and united. “This is a time of much inequality, of fracturing of economic opportunity. And that growing economic divide compounded other divisions in our country: regional, tribal, religious.
“Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, that’s an old playbook. It’s as old as time. This has made it harder to build consensus on issues. It made politicians less willing to compromise, which increased gridlock, which made people even more cynical about politics. However, we have bridged this divide. Which has instilled even more fear in our opponents,” he said. He told the conference that the coalition came together to answer the call of the people of Botswana in recognising that the country was in dire straits. The UDC, he said, was created in response to the will of the people. “While we were once different parties, we now share one objective – to unite for the good of the country and the growth of the country”, he stated.
“Today, together, we will take our campaign to win the October 2019 election to the next level. We are here because we understand the importance of this election, because our democracy depends upon it. “We can no longer sit around and wait for something to happen, to leave it to others to do something we have to lead this movement for ourselves. “We need to get involved, knock on doors and talk to our constituencies, our families, our friends. To argue with them, to convince them that with change, something powerful can happen. It’s time for the second republic! It’s not just possible but it is imperative”, said the UDC leader.
He explained that the UDC has adapted to a new economy, a 21st century economy. He said the coalition has worked hard to develop a clear and concise plan and they are committed to rebuild the country’s economy to create a better life for all.“Decent lives and decent jobs are our promises”. Boko who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament said his party is committed to protect health and safety and fair competition, empowering workers and ensuring a living wage; investing in a stronger, diverse economy encouraging 100 000 new jobs and a more supported local SMME industry, developing new and maintaining existing infrastructure; strengthening the system of primary, secondary and tertiary education which ensures young people have a sustainable future. “We will ensure that our people will not be forced to seek work elsewhere. We will create the ability to be a hub of services for the entire SADC region.”