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BNF, BCP grand plan revealed

Publishing Date : 24 September, 2018


The writing is on the wall, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will be a completely different animal come 2019 general elections, one of the contracting partners, Botswana Movement for Democracy will be ejected from formation.

The UDC held a closed meeting this week at which the National Executive Committee of the party summoned the troubled contracting partner to notice it of intention to suspend the whole party from the UDC. It was evident that the BMD was not happy with the discussions after its president Sidney Pilane walked out of the meeting and later was followed by his exco members. “We will share with you after seven days. What was discussed is confidential and do not trouble any of the NEC members with questions,” UDC President Duma Boko said after the meeting.

However, what came out of the meeting is a clear sign that the UDC is nearing breaking point. The BNF and the BCP have decided “to hell” with the law classes and now want to play politics. It has emerged from the five hours meeting that the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front (BNF) wants Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) to conform to their July congress resolutions on constituency redistribution.

On the other hand BMD will not bow to the “big brother mentality displayed by the contracting parties.” This publication has gathered that going to the meeting, the UDC (BNF & BCP) had already drafted a plan to share with BMD. WeekendPost is privy to the grand plan of BNF and BCP should they succeed in pushing Pilane and his BMD out of the coalition. The two main contracting partners are worried that if they do not act now, they may run out of time as 2019 general elections approach.

The two parties subsequent to their July gathering, want the BMD to bow to down to their ultimatum which demands that BMD surrender its constituencies save two held by incumbents, to the mother party for re-distribution.    The two parties, it is said, want Billy Sekgororoane for Gaborone Central, while one of Dutch Leburu and Motsei Rapelana is expected to contest Gaborone North. Moeti Mohwasa has been asked to contest Gaborone Bonnigton South with Solly Reikeletseng expected to wrestle Francistown South. All these constituencies are allocated to BMD.

“In Lobatse they want Digga Kakoma. They say Modubule has played his part. The members of BNF and BCP want credible candidates not the likes of Bruce [Nkgakile] and Autlwetse [Thabo],” revealed the informant. It is further said the party is also in talks with two high profile candidates to contest in Gabane-Mmankgodi and Mogoditshane constituencies.  “For now it is still confidential but the names will be revealed in a week or two,” said a source on Thursday.

Only Gilbert Mangole (Mochudi West) and Tlamelo Mmatli (Molepolole south) constituencies will not be touched going to the general elections next year according to the plan orchestrated by BNF and BCP. The Tuesday afternoon meeting was the second since the UDC congress in February this year. Previous attempts to convene a meeting failed because BMD saw no need for a meeting, more so that BCP, which according to the constitution is not a member continued to be party to, this publication has gathered.

Boko could not share anything with patient journalists who waited for the conclusion of the meeting as BMD representatives walked out. By the time other parties came out of the boardroom BMD president Sidney Pilane had long walked out.  Pilane, usually cheerful and intimidating in character, cast a picture of a cow resigned to the fate of slaughterhouse.   Minutes later, his comrades, Mangole, Modubule and Mmatli also walked out of the meeting. This was a sign that they are against the negotiations championed by BNF and BCP.

With nothing agreed at the meeting UDC (BNF &BCP) have given BMD up to Wednesday to have agreed to the suggestion, failure in which BMD constituencies will be seized by hook or crook. The two parties believe BMD following last year’s split leading to formation of Alliance for Progressives (AP), cannot amass figures enough to win 14 constituencies allocated to them. In their congress resolutions the two parties agreed to redistribute the constituencies given to the party.

The decision to take BMD candidates was taken last week at BNF and BCP bilateral talks where a highly placed source revealed that: “people are not willing to register to vote the entire party (UDC) because they have absolutely no confidence in Pilane and BMD therefore automatically dragging the UDC in it. So that was the message. Almost everybody was saying that (Pilane should go).”

“As per the constitution, UDC has three parties and we are concerned that BCP continues to be part of meetings whilst it is not recognised legally. Further, they are pulling strings and we will not allow that to happen because whatever agreed was agreed by members of the UDC in good standing,” a BMD source who was part of the meeting told this paper on Wednesday evening. The walking out of the BMD members is the factor that coerced the UDC president Boko to say official statement will be made next week Wednesday.

“They hope to meet the UDC between now and then to conclude everything since the discussions were left hanging,” said a source. On the other hand a BMD informant says they are aware albeit unofficial that they will have to meet other parties but there is nothing official on the table.But the BCP were frustrated at this meeting as Pilane insists that in terms of the currently registered constitution, BCP is not a member of the UDC – all contracting partners agree that he is correct. The problem as apportioned to Pilane is that he however does not accept the constitution that was negotiated between the BCP and UDC. Furthermore he also does not accept any of the congress resolutions on the constitution



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?