The leaders of the contracting parties in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have not yet met to discuss the next course of action following the rejection of the UDC’s new constitution by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) Davids Okello-Wengi.
Okello-Wengi rejected the new UDC constitution that was submitted by UDC President Duma Boko with the input of BCP President Dumelang Saleshando on 13 July 2018. Further, the Registrar of Societies said in his view, the UDC is not a party but a mere cooperation agreement by the four contracting partners, being the BNF, BCP,BMD and BPP.
“All four parties are listed in the Schedule, therefore in our opinion, the registration of UDC’s Constitution falls outside the scope of the Act”- the Registrar of Societies wrote in his letter to the UDC Secretary General on 13 August 2018.
It remains to be seen how the four parties are going to handle the issue, given the fact that they were already divided on the legality of the constitution even before the Registrar of Societies delivered his verdict. BMD leader Sidney Pilane has always shared the same views as those of the Registrar and maintained that the UDC was not a political a party but a cooperation agreement where the President cannot take decisions without involving other participants. Pilane argued that the BNF and BCP leaders (Boko and Saleshando) had no legal authority to amend and submit the new constitution without the input of BMD and BPP.
BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando confirmed in an interview that they have not yet met as UDC leaders to discuss the verdict of the Registrar of Societies. He however said he was hopeful they will discuss the matter sometime this week as they have a series of meetings lined up for this week. ‘‘My take though is that those who registered UDC need to establish with the Registrar what exactly was registered,’’ Saleshando said. He wondered how the UDC was allowed to contest the elections if the Registrar says it is not a political party.
Asked for comment, BMD President Sydney Pilane said he expects the four parties to meet and decide how to go forward. ‘‘Comrade President Boko, as the leader of UDC, should call all the four parties together for this purpose,’’ Pilane said in an interview on Monday evening.