Tuesday, May 21, 2024

UDC goes cap in hand

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is begging for money from sympathisers to settle an election petition bill.

The opposition coalition lost with costs after accusing the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of rigging the 2019 general elections.

In the majority of their petitions the UDC accused the BDP of engaging in ‘corrupt or illegal practices’ in order to win the elections.

The UDC this week held a media briefing on their fundraising efforts to cover the 2019 general elections petition costs.

Giving an update on the bill, the UDC Treasurer General, Dennis Alexander said the Court of Appeal bill for the BDP amounted to P565 000.They have so far raised P329 505.98 towards the bill.

“Cash payments that have gone to the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) attorneys is P163 000. Cash that is available today and will be paid out by Wednesday is P59 949.87,” he revealed.

He added that two vehicles were auctioned about three weeks ago and they have accounted for only one of those vehicles with cash amounting to P81 000. The other vehicle is said to be up for a re-auction in the coming two weeks.

Alexander said the UDC owes P235 494.00 towards the BDP bill and that is the reason they are appealing to the public to assist with costs.

“It is still a substantial amount of money but we have set a target to have paid it in full by the end of March,” added the treasurer.

A representative of the petitioners, Patrick Mmolotsi, who is also one of the 15 petitioners noted that they had to petition because they saw democracy being trampled upon.

“We are here appealing to the citizens of this country who recognize the work that we do in defence of democracy of this country,” stated Mmolotsi.

He highlighted that they have close to a million Pula if not more that has come from the High Court bills, noting that they also have an outstanding balance that has to be paid to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

“We had agreed to each contribute a sum of P40 000 amongst the 15 of us which would have amounted to P600 000 and would have cleared the BDP bill so we start off on other bills. Of these 15 petitioners only one of us was able to pay the P40 000 as agreed,” added Mmolotsi.

He also noted that among the 15 petitioners, they have since been able to contribute about P150 000 of the P565 000 BDP bill.

Mmolotsi said they were dismissed on technicalities and not given an opportunity to share the evidence that they witnessed as front-liners.

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