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BDP independents join UDC


Scores of members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who contested the 2014 general elections as independent candidates have resolved to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) under its various political formations.


This publication learns that at a meeting held in Lerala in the Tswapong area on Wednesday; those who attended indicated that it was important to also wait for the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) to make a final resolution because they could only join through the BCP.


They opined that the areas they represent are well covered by the BCP. The disgruntled members are not happy with a BDP requirement that they should re-apply if they want to re-join the party.


Weekend Post has established that a contingent of 136 people attended the meeting and 80 percent of them were candidates in the October 2014 general election. President Lt Gen Khama, who is also the leader of the BDP, had indicated prior to the general elections that anyone who will run as an independent candidate will have to re-apply if they want to be welcomed back to the party.


 The Lerala-Maunatlala constituency was well represented at the meeting. The constituency had the largest representation of independents candidates, including a Member of Parliament and about six councillors.


Sethabelo Modukanele contested the BDP primary elections against Prince Maele and lost in a fashion he deemed controversial and unlawful hence he decided to run as an independent. He was voted by about 4600 people compared to Maele 6200.


It is expected that he will join the UDC under the Botswana National Front (BNF) ticket. Some councillors who ran as independents are expected to join either the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the BCP depending on the strength of support for each party in their constituency.


“Yes we have decided to give up on the BDP. I have lost faith in the BDP. It is true that there was a meeting but I did not attend,” said independent councillor of Lecheng, Charles Mabjeng. The independents especially those from the Tswapong constituencies are confident that they can wrestle them from the BDP.

“It is a good thing that the BCP is already strong in Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang’s constituency, we just have to add our numbers and the BCP under the UDC will easily win that constituency,” said one of the defecting council candidates who preferred anonymity because he was yet to inform his stakeholders about his decision.


The 2014 independent candidates are convinced that the BDP is beatable in 2019 and the BCP should act fast so that issues of constituency and ward allocations are addressed well in time. Most of them are banking on incumbency hoping that the parties they choose to affiliate under will allow them to contest.


The BDP has a special congress slated for October this year. It is likely that the matter will be discussed then. The independents had hoped that the BDP Mmadinare congress will make a resolution that favours them but nothing happened.

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