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BMD The ‘Odd Man Out’ At Opposition Talks

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  • UDC is the brainchild of the BMD – Modubule
  • BMD was expelled from UDC– Saleshando
  • AP does not rule out cooperating with BMD

 

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has been excluded from negotiations for opposition parties to merge into a formidable force way ahead of the 2024 general elections, The Botswana Gazette has established.

The Chairman of the party, Nehemiah Modubule, revealed this week that the BMD was yet to receive an invitation to the talks. “We are very interested,” he told this publication. “We have not been approached by anyone but we should state it for the record that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is an initiative of the BMD.”

Even so, Modubule said that the party awaits direction from members; “Because of COVID-19, we could not have our congress this year,” he noted. “It is our members who will give us a fresh mandate. It is a very tricky one, more so that we have been expelled from the UDC.”

UDC vice president Dumelang Saleshando said it was not surprising that the BMD is excluded. “They were recently expelled,” Saleshando noted. “Maybe that explains why they are not a part of these talks.”

He said there has never been any resolution taken regarding differences between the two entities. “I do not want to speculate,” he said in response to a question about the possibility of the UDC and the BMD working together.

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Progressives (AP) – which was once a part of the BMD – has not ruled out prospects of future cooperation with the BMD despite the knotty history of the two. “At our last congress, we were given a mandate to look for people who we were like-minded with us,” said AP vice president Wynter Mmolotsi.

“And the mandate was clear that it should not be the BMD. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve that before the 2019 elections. We will receive a fresh mandate from members at our next congress. If we are given the mandate to work with them, we will start the process. We are a member-driven establishment.”

The BMD was expelled from the UDC in late 2018 for gross misconduct, leaving the coalition with three contracting partners, namely the Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).

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