BCP wants out of UDC

16 Sep 2019

The Botswana Congress Party may pull out of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) after the 2019 General Elections.

BCP chairperson Motsei Madisa – Rapelana has been in discussions with a number of BCP leaders where the plan to decamp from the UDC after the elections was canvassed. The BCP high command including Gobotswang and Saleshando are believed to be in support of the plan to cut loose from the UDC after the 2019 general elections.

This comes after Boko confronted Rapelana accusing her of leaking information about a UDC secret meeting that revealed the coalition was on the verge of collapse.

Rapelana and BCP Vice President Kesitegile Gobotswang on 2nd September met Boko where they complained that the BNF was sabotaging the BCP and hoarding campaign donations.

Sunday Standard can reveal that the UDC high command has agreed to keep BCP President Dumelang Saleshando out of their secret deal to raise R100 million from South African business woman Bridgette Motsepe Radebe.

The UDC has asked Motsepe Radebe for R100 million, 200 000 t-shirts, branded vehicles and top South African musicians for their 2019 elections campaign. UDC spokesperson and Botswana National Front (BNF) Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa who indicated that he was representing the UDC President Duma Boko on 2nd May 2019 met Motsepe Radebe’s sidekick Malcolm X, National Union of Mineworkers President Joseph Montisetse and one Mthoko Nxumalo at Klerksdorp Mike’s kitchen where the request was relayed.

Towards the end of the meeting, Mohwasa told Malcolm X and Montisetse that, “This meeting is confidential to us and Duma Boko back home. Dumelang Saleshando should not know about it. Let’s exchange e-mails and cellphone numbers gentlemen.”

In an earlier interview, Mohwasa communicated to the Sunday Standard that they had not told Saleshando about the deal because they have no deal with Motsepe-Radebe.

“It would not be correct to say we asked for that money from Bridgette Motsepe. Yes I met my friend Joseph Montisetse, who I have known for a number of years in Klerksdorp. He was with his friends and we talked about the Botswana political landscape in general. I was in town for a wedding that was taking place the next day. He lives in Orkney, just outside Klerksdorp. So naturally I had to check on him and he suggested that we have dinner at Mike's Kitchen. He was with two other people, one of whom I later learned was Malcolm X. In our conversation we talked about the challenges faced by the opposition in the country. I have to say that the leadership of the UDC has an obligation to talk to potential sponsors and I guess the same goes for any party. I and others in the party have and continue to talk to many people both within and outside the country. We however carry out due diligence on all who promise to assist. We do not take money from anyone and as far as I know we are not expecting any money from Bridgette Motsepe. We haven’t even made any follow up meeting therefore to suggest that we are expecting branded vehicles and top South African artists is incorrect. In fact that talk of artists and t shirts was when we were talking about the manifesto launch. So since there were no foreign artist in Maun and 200 000 t-shirts, I take it that you have been answered. So we did not get any help and are not expecting help from Bridgette Motsepe. We are not even pursuing her.”

Asked if they have informed Saleshando about the deal, he said: “There is no deal as indicated above. If there was he would be aware. This was just an impromptu conversation that was and is not being perused.”

Following the secret meeting between Boko, Rapelana and Gobotswang where the BCP leaders complained that Boko was closing them out of UDC money deals, an anonymous Facebooker believed to be close to the BCP leadership posted that: “BCP through Motsei Rapelana have raised concerns that Boko is sabotaging the BCP by failing to share funds and materials donated to the party. Rapelana admitted that their campaign as the BCP is not going as planned as some of their lunches have not been successful while others have failed. It seemed Boko is not bothered though as he has instructed that all campaign materials go through the BNF office not the UDC office as previously agreed. Rapelana and Gobotswang were in a meeting with Boko on 2nd September where the above concerns were raised.... is Boko sabotaging BCP. Do we see this coalition working together peacefully going forward or will Boko destroy the UDC.”

Following the Facebook post, Boko confronted Rapelana accusing her of leaking information about the secret meeting. Rapelana who the Sunday Standard investigations have revealed was not responsible for the Facebook post has been venting to a number of senior BCP members about how she is being attacked on Facebook by BNF members.

It emerged during the discussions that the BCP has decided to stay in the coalition until after the elections. It further emerged that BCP President Dumelang Saleshando is in an unhappy marriage with the UDC and wants out.

Another anonymous facebook post believed to be from a member of the BCP command stated:

“Dums knows very well that they are sabotaging him, but he is hamstrung because he fears being accused again as in 2014. That is the reason why the UDC is failing. He is between a rock and a hard place. In Tswapong they put a trap for him and he found himself sitting next to Ian Khama and pictures were taken. He was not aware that Khama was coming and they made a sitting arrangement that the two sit together and started taking pictures knowing very well that people in Maun do not like Ian Khama. They want him to lose Maun. Boko wants him purged for the talk doing rounds is that UDC would be much better with Dumelang at the top.”