Following the conclusion of the Umbrella talks which recently gave birth to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the party launch on November 11th, the conveners of the negotiation process are now part of the leadership of UDC.
With only Lebang Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane as the conveners of the negotiation process at the beginning of the talks, the number later rose to five after the inclusion of retired High Court Judge John Mosojane, Rev. Prince Dibeela and Rev. Cosmos Moenga. The team facilitated the so-called Umbrella 1 talks which included the Botswana People’s Party (BPP), the Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
After the collapse of Umbrella 1 the conveners called and chaired meetings of Umbrella 2 which the BCP declined to be part of due to differences with its negotiating partners, especially the BMD particularly over the allocation of constituencies.
According to the transitional clause, Article 28 of the UDC constitution, before the holding of the 1st meeting of the National Congress (NC), three out of five of the conveners together with the Presidents, and Secretaries General of the BPP, the BNF and BMD shall, together will give one more negotiating officer per party, have, on behalf of the Umbrella, the power to exercise any power vested in any structure of the party”.
Besides the power to amend the constitution this body is vested with the power to suspend the operations of any party structure, appoint or remove persons from any offices that are established by the constitution.
According to Article 11.5 of the UDC Constitution, before the NC meets for the election of the National Office Bearers (N0B), the conveners of the negotiation process shall be part of the structure that will do the day to day running of the UDC alongside the party President, Vice President, Deputy Vice President, Treasurer, General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary.
Another body to which they belong is the Governing Body (GB) which consists of the NOB’s and delegates from group members.
They are also part of the National Executive Committee (NEC) whose composition includes NOB’s, Chairperson and Regional Secretary of each region and Leader or President of group members.
The NEC which is the largest of the UDC structures after the NC and which the Governors also belong to shall have the power to give broad direction concerning organizational ,political and educational issues within the Umbrella.
This structure, whose mandate is to manage the affairs of the Umbrella between meetings of the NC and GB shall have powers to admit or refuse to admit application for membership to the Umbrella.
This structure also has the power to fill vacancies in the positions of NOB, adopt or amend a leadership code of conduct as well as approve the Umbrella budget.