Friday, 04 October 2019 11:30

UDC warn BDP to stop spreading falsehoods

Batswana should not allow their opponents to distract them by indicating that the coalition has a working relation with former President Ian Khama. Head of Communications for Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Moeti Mohwasa said the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is at the forefront of distorting facts regarding the relationship between UDC and Khama and his party Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).

Mohwasa who was updating the media in Gaborone about his party’s preparations for the launch of its leader Duma Boko and running mate Dumelang Saleshando stated that the BDP is desperately distorting facts because it fears that it would lose elections.
Mohwasa explained that what is happening is that the BPF has called on electorates to vote for UDC where the BPF has not fielded any candidate.

“Why should we attack someone who wants eligible voters to cast their votes in our favour? Khama has made it clear that he wants the BDP led by Mokgweetsi Masisi to be voted out of power. “Now they want us to reject that. We cannot do that because we also want the BDP voted out of office because it has failed the people of this country in the past 53 years. “We do not have a working relationship with the BPF which is why we are competing in some of the constituencies and wards. It is interesting that the BDP had a long relationship with Khama and he was a saint and now that he has dumped their party, he is a bad person.

“The problem is not a person but the party and BDP should take responsibility as a collective on all wrongs committed by Khama,” said Mohwasa.The head of communications stated that there was still corruption and scandals even during the era of those BDP leaders who were at the helm of the party before Khama, but the perpetrators have not been brought to book. Mohwasa said the BDP is feeling the heat after its fallout with Khama. “If he is that bad why was President Masisi publicly indicating that they want him back into the party,” he asked adding that the BDP elders approached Khama to return to the BDP because they know the new party will be a contributing factor in the BDP performance.

“The BDP is rotting from inside. Masisi is a deployee of the BDP as was Khama during his time. We would hate or fight Masisi when he is no longer at the helm of the BDP. “Everyone that supports the UDC we will welcome such with open hands. Even our other competitors, the BDP and Alliance for Progressives when they support us, we will not reject them so the BDP should stop lying to Batswana and accept that their time is up and post October 23rd they will no longer be in power. “They know that the BDP is what it is because of the influence of the Khamas. So, they have to deal with the problem they have created and stop spreading falsehoods.”

Published in News

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.”

Published in News
Tuesday, 07 May 2019 15:18

What’s wrong with Duma Boko?

He said it. You heard it. You saw it. Therefore, for civility and normative ethics reasons, let us not credit Duma Boko’s disgusting remarks on Atsile Masisi by repeating them here. Like the rest of the nation, I am left speechless by the snarky, petty, juvenile antics of the aspiring president of Botswana.

For a moment, just stretch your imagination, perhaps to a breaking point and imagine Botswana under a leader who carries such malice against innocent souls (children). It is hard to imagine, but it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure it does not happen in our lifetime, not even in God’s lifetime. It is our patriotic duty to safeguard our tolerant and inclusive normative value system anchored on Botho. The point is I would have equally been disgusted had it been anybody hurling such obscenities to Boko’s children. The question on everybody’s lips is, when did the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) politics hit this rock bottom? If their leader’s public comments are anything to go by, then they represent a very dangerous strain in contemporary politics.

As far as I am concerned, insults and outrageous comments can never be a cornerstone of a mature and intelligent political strategy. If for some reason you may think I am overrating strategy, just take a look at US President, Donald Trump, he has won power, but he has so far been unable to rule. He moves in circles, hoping from issue to issue; today it's North Korea, tomorrow it's Venezuela and the next day it's Iran and at the end of the day, it is all much ado about nothing. The way I understand it, our political rallies and other public platforms have always been used by parties to sell their different political ambitions and policies. No matter how weird some of those ideas were, they were nevertheless given audience because they were always in a respectful tone.  But Boko’s recent remarks clearly indicate that rules of civility definitely have taken a back seat. By seeking to blur the lines between what is acceptable and not acceptable, it is testimony that the shock value is gone.

We should not allow personal, more slash and burn politics to be part of our modern election dialogue. For us the electorates, content is more than triviality and cheap-talk. We are attracted to issues that seek to secure better life for all Batswana, not abusive language. If Boko has run out of content, he should not think demeaning an innocent child could be interpreted as a stroke of a political genius.  If he has personal issues with President Masisi, that is between him and the latter, it has nothing to do with the little girl.  As a leader and a father, we thought Boko intuitively knew that he carried moral duty to protect children and provide for their physical and emotional safety. As a father, we thought he could promote development of positive parenting skills and a secure parent-child attachment to those that look up to him. But his remarks prove us very wrong.

Political parties and their members should be among the foremost champions of child protection. Perhaps most importantly, they should advocate within their constituencies for an end to violence and abuse against children. They should challenge attitudes and beliefs that treat violence against children as inevitable or harmless. They should spread the message that violence against children is preventable and further mobilise political will required to put an end to such violence. But Boko has decided to throw away his moral responsibility towards Atsile in favour of scoring political ‘points.’ On a positive note, he has just made our voting easy; #Eseng mo Ngwaneng.

Published in News
Thursday, 31 January 2019 14:42

BDP’s ‘time to eat is up’ - Boko

Umbrella for Democratic Change President, Duma Boko has sent a chilling warning to Botrswana Democratic Party, that they know who the purveyors of corruption are and that their “time to eat is up”. Addressing the media on Monday in Gaborone Boko said that the corruption and abuse seen across all sectors of government was and is still a function of institutions deliberately designed to preclude any robust oversight and probing accountability.

Accountability, he said, is about a detailed account of the real costs and benefits of any trip or outing by the President and organs of the state to give the nation an “accurate visual and aural understanding of what actual value the nation derives from all these adventures”. He dismissed all the existing institutions as either, weak and tepid in the execution of their mandates or destitute of any ounce of credibility.

Turning to the National Petroleum Fund saga, Boko said these problems and challenges cannot be addressed by way of changing the faces of Presidents while retaining the same system and organisation that brought these problems to the nation. “We know who they are and we will smoke them out. Their time to eat is up,” he warned. He said the ascendance of Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi of the Botswana Democratic Party to the high office of President of Botswana is but a “frail and fitful palliative” that can only “mollify but not uproot” the causes of all these maladies.

The UDC leader said this was so because all the leaders of BDP, past and present, are complicit in the mess “we have and are culpable without exception”. Boko pointed out that the current problems in the country require systemic solutions with a comprehensive forensic audit of all government institutions to determine what happened and how the controls and processes failed.

However he said the challenges that face the country have been troubling the nation for decades since independence. The country still groans under high rate of unemployment and lack of opportunities for its people. “The health care system is most appalling and deplorable; marked and defined by a demoralised workforce, acute shortages of essential and basic medication as well as chronic inefficiency and wastage. 

“Our education system continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace, spelling doom and disaster for many young people and their families, and wreaking havoc on the whole nation. Corruption and wanton abuse of office have run amok in our country”. Boko said that the UDC is ready and up to the task of liberating this country from the stranglehold of predatory and collusive dealings between the political elites and their handlers in the business community.

He explained that UDC is currently in the process of dealing with all lingering internal matters especially ward allocations and the few constituencies affected by the BMD matter. “All these will be resolved by the end of February. We demand a review of our constitution to correct the aberrations that have resulted in the current mess the country is in”. Boko said they promise to create 100 000 decent jobs in their first 12 months in office.


Published in News

The SADC Parliamentary Forum - a regional organisation of 14 Parliaments of the Southern Africa Region based in Windhoek, Namibia – is recruiting for qualified candidates from 12 of the member countries for the position of Secretary General.

The closing date for applications is 15th February 2019 while the position is tenable for the period 1st July, 2019 to 30th June, 2024. All member countries -Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania- are eligible to apply for the position with the exception of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

According to the SADCPF Secretariat, this is in the spirit of rotation, as was approved by the 44th Plenary Assembly on 4th December, 2018, in Maputo, Mozambique at which the decision to recruit for the position was taken. SADC PF serves as the voice of Parliamentarians on regional matters, and promotes regional cooperation and integration.

A Motswana citizen, Boemo Ndu Sekgoma, the longest serving director of programmes at SADC PF- currently holds the position of secretary general on acting capacity. This was necessitated by the void ocassioned by the departure of substantive secretarary general - Dr. Esau Chiviya - a Zimbabwean native, who was implicated in financial impropriety and has been subjected to a discipinary hearing chaired by SADC PF Executive Committee member, Adv. Duma Boko, who doubles as Chairman of the SADC PF Legal Sub-Committee
The Secretary-General is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the SADC Parliamentary Forum set up under Rule 13 of the SADC PF Constitution, which provides that: “There shall be a Secretariat headed by the Secretary General and comprising such other staff as may be appointed by the Executive Committee”.

The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Plenary Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, on such terms and conditions of service approved by the Plenary Assembly.Among others the duties of the Secretary General of the SADC PF include corporate development, initiating new directives, as well as managing and co-ordinating the activities of the SADC PF subject to the general direction of the Executive Committee.

The Secretary-General is the Secretary to the Plenary Assembly, as well as other policy organs, and shall provide advice to the Plenary Assembly, the President, the Executive Committee and the policy organs on procedure and any other related matters.
The Secretary General shall coordinate the overall business and is the custodian of the Journals and records of the Plenary Assembly, and shall ensure the timely dissemination of records and implementation of resolutions.

The Secretary-General, as the head of the Secretariat is responsible for ensuring effective day to day operations, protecting the integrity of the Secretariat and managing the staff. In this context, the Secretary General is expected to provide effective professional and managerial leadership in the development and implementation of internal corporate, financial, administrative and human resources management strategies, policies and plans.

The Secretary-General shall be primarily responsible for the public representation of the SADC PF and promoting its aims and objectives. The Secretary General shall be responsible for maintaining relations with Member Parliaments and the host government, and for providing necessary advice and guidance as may be appropriate for ensuring the effective participation of the membership in the affairs of the SADC PF.

The post holder must be a citizen of a Southern African Development Community Member Country with at least a minimum of a relevant Master’s degree, including a good first degree from reputable universities; He or she must have a minimum of 10 years proven relevant experience in top managerial positions in reputable organisation/s. Parliamentary experience is not a necessity but will be an added advantage; and must be 55 years old or younger, as at 1st July, 2019.As an equal opportunity employer, SADC PF strongly encourages qualified women, with the requisite experience to apply.

Applications must be made through the Member Parliament of the country of which the candidate is a citizen.

Published in News
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:31

It is all about power, stupid!

Power struggle and hunger for power is what has landed Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) at loggerheads over the appropriate Constitution to be filed with Registrar of Societies, Botswana Guardian has learnt.

 Following the filing of the Constitution by President Advocate Duma Boko and one of the Vice Presidents, Dumelang Saleshando who is also President of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) two UDC contracting partners Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) wrote objecting letters through their Secretary Generals.

The Constitution submitted by Advocate Boko and Saleshando provided for one Vice President and gave powers to the UDC congress and the President. The Vice President would be the running mate for the president during the general election.
The letters written to the Registrar of Societies indicate that since UDC is made up of four contracting partners the constitution must be signed by all in order to be registered.

On the other hand, the Constitution that the BMD and BPP approve of has provision for two vice presidents. According to the Constitution once UDC is in power 1st Vice President would be the country’s vice president. BMD has all along maintained that it occupies the seat of 1st Vice President within the UDC. The argument has been that BCP is a new comer in the UDC. However, UDC leader Advocate Duma Boko has on several occasions indicated that there is no 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents within the UDC.

He stated that they are all equal but perform different roles. If this Constitution is approved and UDC wins power, BMD leader Advocate Sidney Pilane would be Botswana’s Vice President according to Article 11.2 of the Constitution.
Article 11.4 the Chairperson of the UDC shall be the Senior Minister of the cabinet of Republic of Botswana when UDC is in power. BPP President Motlatsi Molapisi is UDC Chairman.

This means when UDC attains power, Molapisi would be minister for presidential affairs. It is yet to be seen what would be the way forward once the Registrar of Societies has acted on all the documents before his office.

Published in News

Botswana National Front President Advocate Duma Boko says this week he is expecting a team of experts who will do a survey for his party regarding next year’s general election. Advocate Boko stated that this is part of his strategy as leader of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to topple ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from government. He revealed that he recently engaged experts to do a study for UDC on what should be done to win the 2019 general election.

“They have given me a report. According to their report 34 percent of electorates are aligned with the UDC. Most of these people are the youth. Next year is for regime change and if we cannot change government then we are wasting our time. The report has recommended that we should target this group of people and ensure that the message we are going to craft for general election speaks to them. They would be here to do thorough analysis,” said Advocate Boko who accepted that there are problems in the UDC.

He said the UDC contracting partners need each other desperately. He said the UDC would engage in precision marketing in order to win the general election. He said challenges at UDC are unique and resolving them needs to be approached with care. The UDC leader told BNF conference in Rakops during President Holidays that as a collective they have to identify problems at UDC. He explained that after identifying the problems then they have to come up with diagnostic treatment.

“I have been under attack for refusing the kicking out of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) from the UDC. I was not refusing just because I wanted to. I told you that to do such we would be creating more problems in the UDC. I told you that it would be unlawful to do that. I said we should find another way of dealing with the matter. I accept all the insults that were hurled at me by you,” he said.

He said as the party the BNF needs to have vibrant constituencies, wards and regions. Advocate Boko revealed that the ten regions would be coordinating the 2019 general election. The UDC leader pointed out that the BNF has to decide if they want to be considered the backbone of the UDC or the belly of the movement. “If you want to be regarded as the backbone of the UDC, then you would have to act like one,” he said. Advocate Boko stated that they have to face the challenges bedeviling the UDC.

BNF is currently at loggerheads with BMD over constituencies. The BNF conference sent a strong message to the BMD when it resolved that there should be primary elections in all BMD constituencies and wards except constituencies where BMD is incumbent. Out of the 13 constituencies, BMD is only incumbent in two constituencies being Molepolole South and Mochudi West.

The BMD however has already chosen candidates for most of its constituencies and wards. BNF conference resolved that ‘noting that after several and consistent requests BNF made to have a bilateral with BMD to address the representation issues, BMD has consistently not been responsive. We therefore resolve that there should be joint primary elections under the UDC in all the parliamentary and council seats allocated to the BMD in 2014, except where it holds incumbency. If this fails, then the BNF should assume the leadership of these constituencies and wards. The UDC Congress would be the final arbiter if the above two do not succeed.’ BMD has in the past indicated that it would only have bilateral talks with their colleagues if any party interested in some of its constituencies should be prepared to swap.

Published in News

Botswana National Front (BNF) President Advocate Duma Boko has finally briefed his National Executive Committee about his intentions to fund the party’s upcoming conference in Rakops Village next month.

BNF Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa revealed on Wednesday this week. He said the president briefed them during a central committee meeting on Tuesday. The BNF leader had written a letter to regions revealing that he intends to fund the conference by transporting and feeding delegates while at the conference. The BNF conference is hosted by North Central Region and will be held in Rakops village from 14th to 17th of July 2018. Advocate Boko has declined to reveal the source of the funds.

He explained that as opposition they have to protect their funders because ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) might come for them and harass them. He said he always gets funds from his personal friends and has never used the BNF or Umbrella for Democratic Change names to source funding from his friends locally and internationally. He said all BNF Central Committee members should be fundraisers.

BNF Treasurer Noah Salakae would not be drawn into discussing the matter with the media. He said the issue of the conference is handled by party Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa. “Mohwasa is the one dealing with the matter. Myself would be just waiting for him to give me a report to tell me how much they would need for the conference then I can release such funds,” said Salakae. Salakae who is also Member of Parliament for Ghanzi North said preparations are however progressing well for the conference.
Mohwasa told the media on Wednesday that Advocate Boko briefed the central committee about his intentions.

According to Mohwasa all those who would have been selected at ward level to attend the conference would have to register with office of the secretary general. He said this would make it easy to know how many people would be in need of transport to the conference. He said a party they would not rely entirely on the president’s gesture but would have to also contribute because the conference is “a party activity”.  “Anyone is free to assist anyway they can to fund any party activity. There is nothing wrong with what the president is doing as long as he has declared. At times it does not have to going through the Treasurer.

The aim is to have a successful conference where resolutions would be made. This is decisive conference because we are going for general election next year,” Mohwasa stated. He indicated that at this point they would not state their budget for the conference because preparations are still ongoing. He said this would only be know during the conference and after because of some of the matters that may arise.

In the letter seen by this publication, which Boko has copied to Mohwasa, he called on the regions to prepare well in time so that a proper account for logistics could be made. Boko wrote, “my intention is to provide transportation for all the delegates to the conference and to feed them while there without them having to spend anything. This will relieve the pressure on the delegates themselves as well as the local leadership. It will also ensure that we get maximum attendance at the conference as we position ourselves for the upcoming National Elections.”

Published in News
Thursday, 26 October 2017 15:06

I’ve everything under control

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader, Advocate Duma Boko says he has everything under control despite claims that the ship is sinking under his watch.

Critics have been vocal that Advocate Boko, who is also President of Botswana National Front, (BNF) is failing his party and the coalition movement. His poor leadership and failure to work with other members of his central committee came under the spotlight when former BNF Youth League President Khumoekae Richard lambasted his once close ally. 

Richard has even labelled Advocate Boko a dictator who cannot liberate Batswana. Richard and some members of the BNFYL have since joined newly-formed Alliance for Progressives (AP).

These critics, according to Advocate Boko, would not shake him. “I know they go around saying things about me. Whatever they are saying about me has made me strong. This is not the first time I have been under this litmus test. I used to be there and I managed to come out victorious and the BNF and the UDC came out of that storm more united and this is what is going to happen,” said Boko in a short interview with this publication. He revealed that he has told both the BNF and UDC supporters not to worry about him.

“At night I sleep peacefully. I suspect those who are making noise do not get a sleep. I have been through rough times and cannot be bothered by some small talks. At the UDC and BNF we are serious and cannot be derailed by small talks that would not change the lives of Batswana,” he told this publication before reiterating his statement at BNF Women League Elective Congress in Kanye over the weekend.

READ MORE ON THE LATEST PRINT EDITION

Published in News
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 19:49

Kentse Rammidi: BCP is a bona-fide member of UDC

In this interview with Botswana Guardian’s Correspondent Edward Bule, opposition Botswana Congress Party’s Secretary General Kentse Rammidi puts a few misconceptions about his party’s relation with the BMD into proper perspective. 

BG: There are claims that the president of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko, favours the president of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando at the expense of the president of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Ndaba Gaolathe in the UDC. What do you know?

KR: In our view there is absolutely no reason why President of the Umbrella for Democracy Hon. Duma Boko should be viewed, perceived or otherwise to favour Mr. Dumelang Saleshando at the expense of Hon. Ndaba Gaolathe because as far as we are concerned there are no issues between the two. So, whoever holds that view is clutching at straws and probably trying to sponsor a division between Mr. Saleshando and Hon Gaolathe.

 

Q: Specifically, there are complaints that, Boko has been inviting the leadership of the BCP to UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings although the party, according to those complaining, has got no right to sit in those meetings because it has not yet signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). What is your take?

 

A: There have been no official complaints from any of the UDC contracting partners that President Boko should not invite BCP to UDC National Executive Committee meetings. In accordance with the agreement that was reached between UDC and BCP, a new NEC was to take effect comprising four members from each of the contracting parties. It is for this reason that BCP is a legitimate member and attends UDC NEC meetings. At the announcement of the deal at Oasis Motel in February 2017, there was no mention or promise of any Memorandum of Agreement to be signed. It was announced that an agreement has been sealed and BCP was now a member of UDC. Period.

 

Q: When is the BCP signing the MOA and what has been the cause of the delay?

 

A: As far as we are concerned as the BCP there is no memorandum of agreement to sign. This is just a figment of people’s imagination. The agreement was reached on the basis of three aspects, allocation of constituencies, a policy document and a draft constitution that is to be ratified by a constitutional congress. The holding of the congress could be delayed by the resolution of the BMD problems. These documents are the binding contractual documents not a memorandum of agreement.

 

Q: It appears the BCP and BMD will never see eye to eye. In the run-up to the 2014 general election, the two parties fought over constituencies. This time around, there is an ongoing fight between the two parties over who should, between Gaolathe and Saleshando, be the senior vice president? Are the two parties power-hungry and more concerned with positions than the issues that affect the nation?

 

A:There was and there is no acrimony between the BCP and BMD. In the run up to 2014 election we disagreed over the allocation of Ramotswa constituency and the matter could not be amicably resolved. We agreed to disagree and the BCP membership directed the leadership to suspend the talks until after election. The issue of senior vice president does not exist since it is not part of the UDC/BCP agreement. Therefore there is no power struggle between the BCP and BMD.

 

Q: One of the reasons why the Umbrella 1 talks collapsed is that the BCP viewed the BMD with understandable suspicion because the party had never contested an election and therefore its electoral strength was difficult to estimate. The BCP also had problems with the ideological orientation of the BMD it being a splinter of the BDP. Is the party a credible opposition worthy of your time and attention? 

 

A: The BCP never viewed the BMD with any suspicion nor questioned their electoral strength. We are alive to the fact that all numbers count in politics and we are grateful that the BMD is successful in chipping into the BDP votes. The issue of ideological orientation is irrelevant because we have agreed on a policy document that is all-encompassing. For the above reasons BMD remains a valuable partner in the opposition coalition and we hope their problems are resolved.

 

Q: Some feel that Gaolathe, whose party has got the majority Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UDC but has allowed Boko to be both president of the UDC and Leader of the Opposition(LOO), has sacrificed a lot. In their view, he should be given the position of 1ST vice president of the UDC? Is the BCP amenable to that view?  

 

A: As the BCP we were not part of any arrangement of who becomes Leader of Opposition hence we are constrained to comment. Like I have alluded to in one of the questions the issue of first vice president does not exist and remains personal sentiments of some individuals.

 

Q: Are you worried that the ongoing season of acrimony within the UDC could compromise opposition chances of winning the 2019 general election? What, as the BCP, do you intend to do to facilitate unity in the Umbrella?

 

A: There is no acrimony within the UDC but rather differences within the BMD camp. In our view as the BCP the differences are not insurmountable and together with the UDC leadership we are working on a solution. It is true that this is delaying preparations for 2019 but it is a hurdle that we must cross first. We remain hopeful that we shall overcome.

 

Q: There is a rumour that a new party is about to be announced. Are you worried that the problem of vote splitting among the opposition is upon us again? 

 A: The rumour of the formation of a new party is worrisome and we say God forbid. Truth be told, a new party will be counterproductive both to the opposition and the aspiration of the majority of Batswana who cast their vote for opposition in 2014. It will be unfortunate and ill advised. Look, I believe this is the time for real leaders to raise their hands and be counted. As we traverse the opposition route we should learn from our past and gain wisdom. 

Published in News
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