Francistown City Council Umbrella For Democratic change (UDC) councillors have appealed for calm in the troubled opposition coalition.
Councillor Gaseitse Mabutho said for said both the UDC President and his assistant should put aside their differences for the benefit of members who are seeking to change state power.
He said the only way to resolve the differences in the party is through holding an elective Congress. “Our clients being the electorates are suffering because of the decisions within the UDC” said the councillor. He further said there can never be a single opposition party to single handedly wrestle state power from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
“UDC is a project of collective Batswana seeking to change government and I think it is best that our leaders realize that.
The councillor further advised other opposition parties outside UDC to carefully assess the party before joining, adding that the delay will give UDC leaders a chief reason to resolve issues.
“It would be best for other opposition parties to join after an elective Congress because the reason advanced for not holding a Congress is that, it is only best once other parties have joined”
“I advise that the UDC should resolve it’s own issues, that is when they can bring in new members such as the Alliance for Progressives and the Botswana Patriotic Front” added Mabutho.
For his part, Monarch South councillor Otsile Moses said the UDC bickerings are not healthy for the party, indicating that this could weaken party fortunes.
“The focus is to defeat the BDP, because that is our common enemy” said Moses.
The BPP councillor highlighted that all leaders within the coalition should set aside their differences, saying that Batswana are desperate to change government.
“People reserve the right to choose their own leader, so I think it would best for an elective Congress to be held so that democracy takes place” said Moses.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has been in power uninterruptedly for the past fifty-five (55) years, all thanks to the fragmented opposition. As and when one would think the opposition is regrouping to provide an alternative for the nation, it seems the coalition is just cosmetic.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which is the coalition of three (3) opposition parties; Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF), and Botswana People’s Party (BPP), as it appears, is having more problems than it looks from the outside.
While it is common knowledge that the fights are between some BNF and BCP members, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso of the BPP has joined the chorus of those throwing tantrums.
Fighting from the corner of those attacking the BCP, Lenyatso says the BCP is the UDC’s grave mistake.
“Congress or no Congress as long as BCP is part of UDC, then UDC should just forget about winning elections.” he held.
Some BCP members have been advocating for an electoral congress where the new UDC leadership will be voted. Some even advocated for a congress that would lead to a total merger of all UDC contracting parties.
According to Lenyatso, the “BCP clearly and openly didn’t support other partners in 2019 elections.” He says some even campaigned for BDP candidates and supported with resources to block their contacting partners candidates to win. “They had this othopel mokhaselara then obo o thopa Mopalamente wa domi [vote our Councillor, then vote for BDP Member of Parliament] . They will do the same in 2024.