BOBONONG: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has finally signed the revised Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constitution making the party a full partner under the umbrella of opposition unity. BCP President Dumelang Saleshando has revealed at the party’s national conference.
The signing of the new constitution by the BCP comes at a time when the party was threatening to withdraw from the opposition coalition, due to the delay in implementing the resolutions that were adopted by the UDC congress in February. “The BCP has finally signed the revised constitution. I met with the UDC Leader Duma Boko and signed the constitution before submitting it for registration at Register of Society. Though we finally signed the constitution it does not necessarily mean that the crises bedeviling the UDC has ended. There is still lot that needs to be resolved,” Saleshando pronounced when addressing the conference over the weekend emphasizing that they cannot withdraw from the opposition coalition just because there are unresolved concerns.
Among the amendments that have been included in the new constitution is the repeal and replacement of the provision that caters for a single UDC Vice President position, as opposed to the previous constitution that had two Vice Presidents. Also, the position has to be contested in an elective congress that was initially scheduled for this month.
The new constitution puts an end to claims by the leader of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Sidney Pilane who held the belief that the BCP could not have a say in the UDC, as it is not constitutionally recognized. Speculation has been rife that Pilane does not want the revised constitution to be adopted as he fears losing the Vice Presidency position to Saleshando when the election are called.
While the BCP general membership were pushing for the special congress that will determine their future with UDC Saleshando insisted that they cannot withdraw from the opposition coalition due to internal differences. “I have to admit that there are crises within the UDC but it does not warrant us to pull back. We should not be surprised by the crises bedeviling UDC because we knew about it before we joined. These problems that exist within UDC need us to stand up and come up with solutions instead of running away. Also, it has to be noted that Batswana need opposition parties to work together in 2019 general elections and believe in a united opposition. Therefore, there is no need to pull back from the UDC rather our party has to stand up and resolve the crises,” noted the BCP President who is also UDC Vice President.