Bophirima Ward elections Spark discord in UDC

  • UDC makes unilateral declaration of own candidate forcouncil bye-election
  • Says it is ready to face any UDC disciplinary hearing
  • Accuses Boko of running UDC without consulting member-parties
  • UDC dismisses BCP accusations



The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is ready to account for itself in any disciplinary action that may be taken against the party by the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) for nominating Peter Mogapi as a candidate for Bophirima Ward outside of the coalition banner, the Secretary General of the BCP, Goretetse Kekgonegile, said.
“We will not live in fear of the consequences of our actions and will not sit and watch while our principles are violated,” Kekgonegile said at a press conference in Gaborone this week. “We have no intention of quitting the UDC though. The decision to nominate Mankie Sekete was solely made by the BNF without consulting with other partners. This came after the withdrawal of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) in the bid for the ward.
“There must be give-and-take within the opposition cooperation forum. We gave away Tamasane Ward, and compromised on Metsimotlhabe. Mankie Sekete is not a UDC candidate but belongs to the Botswana National Front (BNF) and is standing for the elections on behalf of the BNF.”
According to the BCP, the party was assigned to manage Bophirima Ward in the 2019 general elections and is therefore entitled to decide on the candidate to contest on behalf of the UDC. A weekend statement from the BCP over the weekend stated: “We acceded to a request for Mankie Sekete to run in Bophirima Ward following her defection from the BMD to the BNF and as a (form of) courtesy, she was a nominated councillor.”
At the press conference on Monday, Kekgonegile accused the president of the UDC Advocate Duma Boko, of running the coalition without consultation with member-parties, hence the UDC is struggling with fundamental governance issues. “The UDC president has not been present at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings since the NEC meeting held at Palapye in July 2021,” he said. “Only Justine Hunyepa from the BNF attended the last NEC meeting in January this year.”
The council bye-elections for Bophirima Ward come after the death of the incumbent Councillor Kagiso Mongwaketse on 12 January 2022.
Meanwhile the mouthpiece of the UDC, Moeti Mohwasa, has described the relationship between the BNF and the BCP as “fine” and dismissed allegations by the BCP as untrue. “These allegations are not new. Maybe it’s a Goebbels approach: Say untruths continuously until people believe it is the truth,” Mohwasa said, referencing the chief propagandist of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party Joseph Goebbels.
In other UDC news, Mohwasa says the issue of whether the coalition will hold a congress or not will be looked at later after talks with other parties have been concluded. “The UDC affiliates are currently working on drafts to submit to the NEC to have a new constitution,” he said in an interview.