UDC Convenors Out In The Cold As Opposition Talks Begin
- Nobody is telling us anything- Mpotokwane
- The talks will be self-mediated- Mohwasa
Fresh opposition talks to bring the Alliance for Progressives (AP) and the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) into the UDC fold are likely to take off without the convenors who played an instrumental role in uniting the opposition into a definitive bloc.
The spokesman of the UDC, Moeti Mohwasa, has confirmed that the convenors will not be involved this time around.
While the fresh talks between the parties have begun, the convenors, Lebang Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane, have told The Botswana Gazette that they last heard from UDC president, Duma Boko, in 2018.
Since then, Mpotokwane noted, the two men have never heard from the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change or been briefed by anyone from what is the two men’s tour de force. “To tell you the truth, we don’t know what is happening within the UDC,” Mpotokwane stated. “We don’t know our position regarding whether we are still a part of them or not because nobody tells us anything.”
He pronounced himself in support of opposition unity but without the BPF because, according to him, its sole ambition seems to be discrediting or removing President Mokgweetsi Masisi from office.
UDC president Duma Boko revealed over the weekend that the AP and BPF had written to the UDC on cooperation on by-elections. The move is expected to pave the way for further cooperation and their possible inclusion in the UDC. Sources say the talks have already begun, although informally.
UDC spokesman Moeti Mohwasa has told this publication that the UDC convenors will not be overseeing the negotiations with BPF and AP. “The convenors only oversaw the birth of the first UDC,” Mohwasa said. “The negotiations between the old UDC and the BCP were self-mediated. The same will happen with the current talks.”
Yet the conveners say there needs to be closure to the relationship and a way forward.