Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko says his party will continue to involve highly experienced consultants even from Europe to equip their candidates with necessary ammunition ahead of the highly anticipated October elections.
Speaking in a telephone interview with this publication from South Africa on Wednesday, Boko said they will look at their needs as a party. “Of course we will continue to have more experts coming here to assist us. We will go as far as Europe, but it will depend on what our candidates need. We have been helping them and with our expertise and it wouldn’t hurt for them to also assist us here,” he said.
This, he says, will help the party going to the October elections as the UDC candidates will be head and shoulder above others. Already the party last week called on another consultant company from South Africa to once more drill the UDC candidates on how to speak to electorates, brainstorm better campaign slogans with the whole intention being to be well-rounded candidates to win elections.
Boko has been traversing the breadth and widths of the world making what he says are strategic relations and the belief is they will produce the desired results ahead of the elections. He has been to America and England preaching in Universities as well as dismissing Botswana’s shining example of democracy paradigm.
Meanwhile as the party prepares for elections, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) leaders Motlatsi Molapisi failed to attend a retreat arranged for party’s top echelons. “Only Dumelang (Saleshando) and I (Duma Boko were present at the retreat,” Boko said. He says Molapisi could not make it due to other commitments. It is not the first time Molapisi dodge UDC activities and this has always raised alarm and questioning his loyalty in the party.
In the past the Molapisi said he was never consulted. But for retreat he said it was because of personal commitments. However, the retreat according to Boko was a success as they discussed the state of the party with more intent on strengthening the relationship between the constituent parties. “We were looking at the state of the party and the direction as we prepare ourselves to take government post elections in October.
Among other issues we looked at was arrangement of joint opening and closing ceremonies at UDC conferences,” The conference will be held during the president holidays at Ba Isago University. After the joint ceremonies, Boko says, each party will break away to its individual corners.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.