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Boko instructs UDC caucus to replace Saleshando

Duma-Boko

The leader of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko instructed the opposition chief whip Motsamai Motsamai to organise a meeting of the UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) and the parliamentary caucus this Sunday.

This follows the suspension of the Leader of Opposition (LoO) Dumelang Saleshando and Maun East Member of Parliament (MP) Goretetse Kekgonegile by the UDC NEC at its meeting on June 25, 2022 in Palapye. “The two were suspended, in terms of the NEC resolution ‘any and all activities of or on behalf of the UDC with immediate effect, pending disciplinary proceedings which will commence and be concluded within three months of the date of the decision’,” Boko wrote to Motsamai on June 6, 2022.

He said the letter served to officially inform Motsamai of this decision so that he informs the rest of the UDC MPs. Boko also said the NEC proposed a meeting between it and the UDC parliamentary caucus to be held on Sunday. “As you may realise, the suspension of Honourable Saleshando means the UDC Members of Parliament must then elect a Leader of Opposition.

Please advise the caucus members to come prepared for the exercise of electing a new Leader of Opposition so that the UDC is ready for the next sitting of Parliament, the winter session, which starts on 11 July 2022.”

He concluded that for the avoidance of doubt, the two suspended members shall not take part in the caucus meeting or any other, or indeed any activity of the UDC during the period of their suspension. The UDC parliamentary caucus has 14 MPs; that is 11 from Botswana Congress Party (BCP), two from Botswana National Front (BNF) and one from Botswana Peoples Party (BPP).

The BCP, BNF and BPP are coalition members of the UDC. Since the suspension of the two BCP heavy weights, it means the BCP will have nine members at the caucus and it is believed that three of those members are pro-UDC than BCP.

The BCP under the leadership of Saleshando has been fighting for democratisation of the UDC by adopting reforms and the new constitution. The BCP had expressed its displeasure with the transitional constitution and therefore wants the NEC to accelerate implementation of a democratic constitution which was agreed by congress in 2018.

Kekgonegile was suspended after Boko complained that he talked about deferring regime change during the BCP press conference while Saleshando who is also the UDC Vice President was suspended for telling delegates at the BCP Leadership Forum held in Palapye on May 14, 2022 that the BCP Members of Parliament won as a result of the party’s effort, when in actual fact, they contested as UDC candidates and were supported by the UDC.

He also stated during the forum that the BCP will be representing itself at opposition unity talks when the BCP is already a member of the UDC. He also told the forum that the UDC is unfit to govern the country and said “Ga re kake ra ntsha Masisi, re be re tsenya Masisinyana”.  But Saleshando still insists that he was never asked to retract and apologise for the speech he delivered during the BCP Leadership Forum.

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