FRANCISTOWN: Leaders in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) should admit and own up to problems bedevilling the opposition coalition instead of burying their heads in the sand.
This is according to UDC Chairperson Motlatsi Molapisi who is also the BPP president. Speaking during the launch of the party’s Moselewapula Ward by-election candidate, Molapisi said leaders within the coalition insist on disputing, dismissing and trying to conceal “open” problems, something he says will only negatively affect the UDC and escalate issues.
“As UDC leaders we have to admit that this project is engulfed by a lot of problems and it should be noted that most of these problems are ignited by individual partners. These problems eventually reached the UDC project. Despite these challenges we should not panic or be surprised because we already know where they all started,” he said.
Molapisi’s remarks are in sharp contrast to the attitude of UDC President Duma Boko who often holds that reports of problems in the coalition are false and only meant to derail the opposition project. UDC problems, however, came in the open following its controversial congress in March this year when some members of the BNF and BCP demanded the expulsion of the Sydney Pilane-led BMD.
The BPP itself through much of 2017 protested the number of constituencies it was allocated by the UDC and this led to the party snubbing several meetings saying it would not attend UDC activities unless its concerns were resolved. The BNF central committee is currently divided over Boko’s leadership, and reports are that a faction within the party is trying to topple him. Boko himself affirmed these rumours on Facebook recently when he made threats against the rumoured intention of his central committee to leave the UDC, among other things.
Just recently, the BCP announced that its President Dumelang Saleshando will contest for the Maun West constituency in 2019 despite the fact that it is a BMD allocated constituency. Pilane ,who conceded the constituency in exchange for the BCP’s Francistown South, expressed disappointment at the BCP’s decision to make the announcement regarding Saleshando’s candidature despite on-going negotiations between the two parties.
It also surfaced last month that the relationship between Saleshando and Boko soured following the UDC congress in Gaborone, after the BNF leader “somersaulted in addressing the BMD problem” within the coalition, according to sources.
Molapisi said the problems bedevilling the UDC need individual partners to act frankly and resolve ongoing and outstanding issues. He however said, problems should not derail UDC leaders from focusing on solutions and that they are only testing the strength of opposition unity.
“For the survival of this project we as leaders have to admit that there are troubles because once we do that we will manage to resolve them accordingly,” he said.