Recent public pronouncements by the leader of Botswana National Front, Duma Boko that certain constituencies allocated the Botswana Movement for Democracy will still be open to be transferred for allocation to other parties inside the Umbrella for Democratic Change are part of ongoing bigger designs to undermine, annoy, marginalize and ultimately expel the BMD, Sunday Standard has learnt.
At a recent BNF Central Committee, an opinion was mulled on the capacity of BMD to field candidates on all its allocated constituencies.
At that same meeting, it also emerged as an opinion popularly held by some that admission of BMD inside the UDC was behind fast growth of Alliance for Progressives.
AP was started as a party following break-up of the BMD.
AP leader Ndaba Gaolathe had among other things said he was not happy with the way UDC had handled BMD divisions.
“The idea that BMD [under Sidney Pilane] is a baggage is widespread. And even though it was not formally addressed, it was agreed that a way has to be found to kick out BMD from UDC,” said a BNF member who attended the meeting.
“This is an issue that is being coordinated with Botswana Congress Party.”
In an interview with Sunday Standard UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa said the planned UDC congress next month will revisit the issue of constituencies given to BMD.
Recently BCP activists have been briefing the media that they are real candidates for certain constituencies allotted to BMD.
BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando fancies himself running in Maun, while a certain Chilly Rakgare will contest Mogoditshane.
Both constituencies are BMD areas.
Other issues to be visited, said Mohwasa is the new UDC Constitution, outcome of negotiations between UDC and the Botswana Congress Party.
He said reality on the ground is that UDC members are raising issues surrounding capacity.
“It is not us at leadership. These are members on the ground,” he said.
Mohwasa’s public pronouncements dovetail with what Boko said during the week at a BNF press conference that the matter of BMD constituencies is not cast in stone.
At that press conference, Boko said if it was found that BMD candidates did not meet the UDC standards, they will be vetted out and be replaced with suitable people from other parties.
This has however not sat well with BMD leader, Sidney Pilane.
In a social media message, Pilane has flatly ruled out the possibility of that happening.
“We are not giving away any ward. And we are not giving away any constituency,” wrote Pilane.
He said if any party within the UDC wants any of the constituencies given to BMD they must approach the party for EXCHANGE.
He said BMD is strong enough to field candidates and win constituencies and wards.
“UDC is an umbrella, an electoral arrangement,” said Pilane.
“Nobody, not the UDC nor anyone else is going to tell us how to deal with our constituencies and nobody is going to vet our candidates,” he added.
“The only entitlement that UDC has is to ask BMD, indeed each of the 4 parties to deliver on its constituencies.”