AP-BNF Standoff Delays UDC Manifesto

  • UDC postpones manifesto launch to 10 August
  • Disputes within UDC alliance cited as cause for delay


The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has postponed its highly-anticipated manifesto and launch of candidates, thanks to unresolved disputes within the opposition coalition.

Originally scheduled for 13 July, the event has been rescheduled for 10 August.

According to sources, the most serious of the unresolved internal disputes involves concerns raised by the Alliance for Progressives (AP) about the conduct of certain members of the Botswana National Front (BNF).

AP objections

The AP has objected strongly to such BNF candidates who are allegedly imposing themselves on constituencies not allocated to them.

The concerns have led to demands for UDC president Duma Boko to address the issue before the UDC manifesto may be launched.

Some members of the AP have even threatened to leave the UDC alliance before this year’s general elections if the issues are not resolved.

Warnings issued 

Boko has reportedly promised to take action against the BNF members involved, with warnings already issued to Tlamelo Mmatli (Molepolole South) and Gilbert Watshipi (Mmopane-Metsimotlhabe), among others.

In a press release dated 8 July 2024, the UDC explained that the postponement is intended to allow for the completion of candidate selection and further engagement with stakeholders.

“The UDC takes the input of all sectors of society seriously,” it said. “Consequently, the launch of the manifesto and candidates will be done when this process has been concluded.”

Only three months to go

Meanwhile, the postponement has caused further distress within the UDC, with some candidates expressing concerns about the coalition’s preparedness for the general elections that are less than three months away.

“Even candidate launches might be affected,” said one candidate. “We need to start selling our candidates soon. Shall we really be ready for the general elections?”