Monday, May 17, 2021

BOFEPUSU/UDC alliance in the crosshairs

Trade union federation, BOFEPUSU is expected to pull out of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) axis. This follows an explosive meeting between BOFEPUSU and the UDC leaders last week.

The meeting was attended by leaders of the Botswana National Front and the Botswana Congress Party, representing UDC.

BOFEPUSU had called a meeting with their partners to get a briefing on the state of the alliance.

BOFEPUSU sought to know the situation on resolving Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) stalemate, but also understanding from UDC if the political parties still cherished the alliance with the unions. BOFEPUSU also proposed a strategy retreat between them and the UDC to map the way forward. Cracks between BOFEPUSU and UDC have been developing for quite a while.

But things came to a head when UDC leaders at the meeting told BOFEPUSU leadership that as UDC they do not need BOFEPUSU to support and implement a workers agenda. 

BOFEPUSU is of the view that inner party democracy inside the UDC is shrinking and being eroded by the day. The trade union federation is of the view that UDC has become a fiefdom of one or two leaders.

A person who attended the meeting confirmed that it was an explosive meeting.

Of greater concern to BOFEPUSU has been the removal of the conveners of the original UDC being Lebang Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane, among others.

A source close to both BOFEPUSU and UDC said the alliance was all but dead following a meeting that was characterized by hostile exchanges.

“BOFEPUSU made it clear at the meeting that they are not willing to trade one dictatorship for another,” said the source in apparent reference to alleged intolerance exhibited by UDC leader to alternative views.

At the meeting BOFEPUSU had asked that the conveners be reinstated inside the UDC, but following attacks on Mpotokwane by UDC leader Duma Boko, BOFEPUSU has come to a conclusion that UDC is collapsing so quickly that salvaging it would almost be impossible. Sunday standard has learnt that BOFEPUSU has resolved to call off the strategy retreat.

Also pending is a formal announcement from BOFEPUSU withdrawing their pledge of support to the UDC.

Also expected to pull out of the UDC is the Gaolathe Ndaba faction of the Botswana Movement (BMD) for Democracy, the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) and the conveners of the original UDC shrinking the coalition down to the Botswana National Front (BNF) and the Botswana Congress party (BCP).

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