- UDC structures have failed to address matter -analysts
- Issue has been blown out of proportion – Saleshando
Over the weekend a intransigent war of words erupted on social media between two starring members of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP). The clash arose after BCP announced Dr Mpho Pheko as the UDC candidate for the Gaborone Central Constituency despite ongoing discussions with the BNF.
BNF Gaborone Central Constituency committee issued a terse statement, condemning BCP for their actions and stating that they will no longer engage in bilateral talks with the BCP regarding the constituency. The BCP National Executive Committee also released a statement advising that Dr Pheko had not been confirmed as a UDC candidate.
Local Political Commentator Leonard Sesa has warned that this latest clash between the two parties has a potential of adding another dent to the UDC and it should not be taken lightly.
“I always tell people that this opposition coalition must be treated like a marriage and it needs to be protected and well guarded. But now in this case, it appears that its a complete opposite of that. If we are going to have people fighting for constituencies, it obviously shows that there are cracks within the UDC,” said Sesa when speaking to The Botswana Gazette on Monday.
“This also shows that structures are missing, this is an issue that should have been dealt with simply through the party structures. It was never supposed to reach this level. In this case we have parties now looking after their own interests and not of those and objectives of the UDC. We might as well have a situation where the two might even clash over policies.”
“The UDC has already experiencedits cracks, AP is gone, BMD has been expelled, there is also a court case coming up and now this again, it is not really looking good for the UDC, especially that this is happening just a few months before elections,” he noted.
The political commentator advised that the UDC needs to engage in serious introspection and try and be the party that had the admiration of many in 2014.
“February 2014, you even had civil servants fully endorsing the UDC and February 2019, its the complete opposite. This shows that something is wrong within the party and they need to do something about it,” concluded Sesa.
BCP President Dumelang Saleshando argued that this issue has been blown out of proportion and he does not expect it to reach the National Executive level.
“No, these are young people on social media and from time to time we must expect such things to happen. We dont really see this as anything too serious, it is just a storm in cup and we do not expect it to go all the way to the National Executive,” said Saleshando.
He said the matter will be dealt with by the party structures and action will be taken against those involved.
UDC Spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa was unavailable for comment on Monday evening as his phone was offline.