- Hints that official announcement may be made soon
- Defends Madibelatlhopho as “a peaceful and cooperative entity”
The president of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko has announced that opposition coalition talks are nearly 95 percent completed, which may imply that official announcements could be made soon.
Speaking at a presser in Gaborone this week, Boko stated: “We will not be making any pronouncement on the talks but what we can perhaps confirm is that the process is unfolding smoothly. We are nearly 95 percent complete.”
He was keen to dispel growing concerns about the state of the four-party cooperation talks, particularly in view of reported disagreements over constituency allocations.
“Everything you read in the newspapers is far from the truth,” he said. “However, the extent of the speculation provides me with a reassurance that there are no leaks within our National Executive Committee.”
Boko emphasised the UDC’s commitment to unity and its determination to present a strong and united front in the general elections next year.
He underlined the coalition’s collective vigilance and intolerance of any potential manipulation or bias during the electoral process.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the Independent Electoral Commission, describing the institution as “disrespectful and contemptuous” for allegedly disregarding a recent letter from the UDC.
“We recently wrote a letter to the IEC, but the level of disrespect at this entity is disgusting,” Boko charged.
“If they can ignore me, the leader of a key stakeholder in the administration of elections, it means they are disrespecting the party and multitudes of its electorates and sympathisers.”
The UDC president stated that the IEC’s disregard of his correspondence partially validates the existence of the Madibelatlhopho Brigade, a controversial UDC structure that Boko said was established with the primary goal of safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process.
He insisted that the Madibelatlhopho Brigade should not be misconstrued as a vigilante group, saying it is as “a peaceful and cooperative entity created to ensure a seamless and equitable electoral process”.