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Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Home » News » General » Saleshando’s fight for UDC

Saleshando’s fight for UDC

Publishing Date : 04 December, 2017

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

The President of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and also Vice President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Dumelang Saleshando has said his support for press freedom has not waned but he will not tolerate the now fashionable and emerging trend of manufacturing fake intelligence reports, rumour and false statements and causing them to be published in the newspapers.


He said such bogus publications cause unnecessary fear and alarm and should be dealt with. The BCP president’s stance had attracted negative attention from some quarters because he is seen as launching an attack on the media especially after Editors of four publication which published the infamous Tholwana Borethe were interrogated by the Botswana Police Service.


The BCP believes that these kind of fabrications worked against their 2014 general election campaign to an extent that the party also won three Parliamentary seats, trailing the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) by miles. “We want these kinds of reports to be nipped in the bud,” said Saleshando. The BCP, after learning the hard way in 2014 is adamant that the same tactics could be applied to squander the UDC chances in 2019. The BCP is a member of the UDC.


“It is not an attack on the media, my views on the media have not changed, I still support a free press and I am against any law that seeks to muzzle the media,” said Saleshando. However he said he will not support people who knowingly publish false and alarmist reports.
The private media had, of recent, published what has been widely described as false and alarmist reports that the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) has prepared a confidential report titled Tholwana Borethe.


As a result of these publications Saleshando noted wrote a letter to the Police Commissioner in which he noted that, “the alleged intelligence report details how the DIS meddles in politics by illegally and wrongfully spying on opposition political parties in Botswana with a view to destabilising them to the advantage of the ruling party”.


He said: “The contents of the alleged report clearly caused alarm and deep-seated fear to the public in general and to opposition parties and their leaders in particular. We note that the DIS has issued a press release distancing itself from the said intelligence report. Significantly, the DIS claims that it has carried out an investigation and they know the originator of the alleged intelligence report. Saleshando made a formal report that the architects of the said fake intelligence report be hunted down and be charged together with whoever may have published the fake report without just cause.

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