Opposition conglomerate, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which encompasses affiliates Botswana National Front (BNF); Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) have stated that they will launch their much awaited 2019 General Elections manifesto in May which will be followed by a full swing campaign leading to October elections.
This was revealed this week by UDC Vice President and BCP President Dumelang Saleshando at a media briefing held at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng. Saleshando pointed out that they have assembled a UDC manifesto drafting team which will conduct public engagements and consultations across the country to allow for both its members, organisations and well-wishers to air their voices in terms of the issues that they want included in the manifesto.
“We are having a meeting over the weekend where UDC office bearers will be meeting in Gaborone and a presentation will be made on schedules of the public meetings on different parts of the country. We will also conduct monthly press briefings on updates of the manifesto drafting and we would like to put timeliness to this process with the intention to conclude in the next 100 days,” said Saleshando.
He emphasised that therefore, “this means that by April we will have done with a final version of the 2019 Manifesto,” adding that, “then if our printers are fast as we expect, the manifesto should be launched in early May. So those are the timelines that we have set for ourselves.” According to the BCP leader, already, all the different policy proposals in the manifesto are anchored on the Social Democratic values adding that the manifesto will be elaborate UDC plan on why they should be put into power.
“One of the key factors in the manifesto will be UDC plan on creating the jobs; and the manifesto will answer the how part; how will these jobs created and where will these jobs come from, and this is the UDC social contract with the public,” the two time Gaborone Central lawmaker highlighted.
He said there will be also clear targets set by the manifesto and hopefully it will usher in the era for issue based political campaigns, therefore he added that those who would want to take on the UDC going into 2019 will have to challenge them on the bases of the idea that they have put forth; that is on employment, on health, on education, on housing and so forth.
On his part, when he took to the podium, the UDC president Duma Gideon Boko also told the press briefing which was swamped by the party fanatics, activists and well-wishers that the UDC is the change that this country so desperately needs and that they will therefore step up to rescue the country. In so doing, the Harvard Law school graduate said there is need for thorough investigations on the institutions that have been established in the country especially to provide any oversight, accountability or checks of balances.
“We demand a comprehensive forensic audit of all institutions in which government funds have been expended over the last few years, to determine what went on and how the controls and processes failed, the better to initiate extensive reviews of all these processes and practices. We call for a dispassionate and comprehensive investigation along these lines so we minimise the risk of any false accusations, and speculative finger pointing,” Boko said. The Gaborone Bonnington North legislator further said that the UDC reaffirms their abiding commitment to creating 100 000 decent jobs in their first 12 months in office.
“We are supremely confident that we will be able to deliver this and we are, unlike the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) not just about promises and empty talk. We are about action and delivery,” he said. In addition to creating jobs, Boko continued to make promises that, as UDC, “we also reaffirm our enduring commitment to a decent wage of P3 000.” He said, on the constitution, “We demand a review of our constitution to correct the aberrations that have resulted in the current mess the country is in.”
The BNF leader asserted that they assure the nation that the UDC is ready and up to the task of liberating Botswana from the stranglehold of predatory and collusive dealings between the political elites of the BDP and their handlers in the business community. He added: “we know who they are and we will smoke them out. Their time to eat is up. We are 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.”
In another matter, he said the UDC still believes in all opposition unity and the country and has in that regard lured the AP to join the UDC fold. “I must also indicate that we had written to the AP to initiate talks toward further enhancing a united opposition. We have happily received a response from them and we will engage on it and act as necessary. We remain committed to a united opposition and continue to work tirelessly for it,” he concluded.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.