- Says BMD would be ready to go it alone if congress so decides
- Notes that formations other than UDC can be devised
- Says BMD members are encouraged to rally behind all opposition in bye-election
At its elective congress in July this year, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) will decide whether or not to pursue a reunion with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ahead of the 2024 general elections.
This is despite the BMD having indicated last year that it intended to meet with the UDC to iron out issues and then join the alliance.
The Chairman of the BMD, Nehemiah Modubule, has told The Botswana Gazette that although it is vital for opposition parties to work collectively to oust the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), members of the BMD will take a resolution on the important matter. “As far as we are concerned, constituency talks have not started and even the kind of cooperation model to be used has not been decided,” Modubule noted.
“So I guess there is still time, but the final decision on whether or not to rejoin the UDC will be made this year. I want to believe that the constituencies which we were awarded in the lead-up to the 2014 general elections are still there. In any case, everything will be discussed, should we get there.”
He added that the BMD has always called on its members to rally behind opposition parties in bye-elections and that should BMD members resolve to go into the next general elections without the UDC, the party will do so without fear.
“We have been rebuilding party structures and our intention is to ensure that the BMD exists beyond any formation,” he said. “We will of course see how best our party can approach the elections.”
Modubule recently stated that the BMD would continue to explore other ways of working with opposition parties in the lead-up to the 2024 general elections. “At this point, our focus is pinned on reviving our party structures because they have not been functional and you can imagine out of 57 constituencies we have only 21 that are functioning,” he said.
“Formation is not only the UDC. There are so many formations that can be devised. What is important is to see how best we can work together as opposition parties. That is mainly our interest. We cannot look at the UDC only.”
“There are so many ways of ensuring that we work together with opposition parties. There is the aspect of a pact, which you should not rule out. I am not saying that is how we will work with other opposition parties. This is just to show you that there are so many ways.”
At the UDC, spokesman Moeti Mohwasa says the coalition is not in talks with the BMD because it has not been approached. “We would comment if they had approached us but at this stage they have not,” he told The Botswana Gazette.
The BMD was expelled from the UDC in 2018 for allegedly failing to address accusations levelled against the party. The president of the UDC, Duma Boko, stated at the time that the conduct of the BMD subsequent to its suspension showed total disregard and disrespect for the leadership of the UDC, its processes and structures.