Following promises made during theLetlhakeng West bye-elections thatthe parties to the Umbrella for DemocraticChange (UDC) will stand under theUDC ticket for any subsequent bye-election,it seems that this will be impossible for thecoming Orapa bye-elections scheduled forSeptember. Botswana Movement for Democracy(BMD) secretary general WynterMmolotsi confi rmed that no one will standunder the UDC banner.“Registration formalities are not yet concluded.Although desirable, we will notbe able to use the UDC voting symbol inOrapa. UDC symbol is planned to be usedin 2014 general elections. Pursuant to ourmemorandum of understanding, an incumbentparty in an area where there is abye-election will fi eld a candidate; in thisparticular case BNF are the incumbents inthat area.
As we speak, the memorandum ofunderstanding is in force. We are not rulingout the possibility that after we are fi nishedwith Independent Electorate Commission(IEC) registration formalities we will usethe UDC symbol as our voting symbol,” hesaid.The ensuing bye-election has caused divisionsin the area with confl icting messagesand opinions on which party should stand.A BMD member who spoke on condition ofanonymity observed that the Botswana NationalFront (BNF) always insists on representingthe Umbrella partners. “If indeed weare one party then there is guaranteed support.That means if we fi eld a BMD candidatewere are still going to obtain the sameoutcome. We cannot call ourselves one partyand while at the same time they are thosewho are preferred.
2014 is near, we are notsupposed to be talking about registrationof UDC at this point in time but serving tomake our symbol familiar to the voters,” hesaid. A Botswana National Front (BNF)member who also did not want to be namedsaid BNF was a better party as compared toother pUmbrella partners.“BMD members need to swallow theirpride. The enemy here is the ruling BotswanaDemocratic Party (BDP) and the BotswanaCongress Party (BCP). We cannot affordto lose Orapa to any other political party.
It was in our hands before our comrade resignedfrom the party. It should remain inour hands. BNF on its own is a brand thatthe voters are familiar with. We do not needto confuse voters with these new symbols.If it was up to me, the UDC symbol wouldnot be used in 2014, but Umbrella membersshould be encouraged to support each otherwhile we stand with individual party symbols,”he argued.BNF Publicity Secretary, Moeti Mohwasasaid that the UDC will be represented by theBNF by virtue of incumbency. “The byeelectionis occasioned by the resignation ofa BNF councillor (Chilume Balopi) who hassince taken up a position in the corporateworld. The members know the principlesrelating to selection of candidates. It is themembers on the ground who gave us thename of the candidate. As far as we knowthey fully understand it, which is why theywere able to pick a candidate without theinvolvement of the leadership.
This showsthat they understand the UDC candidate’sselection principles,” Mohwasa said.The bye-election will be held on September14th to choose a candidate to fi ll the vacantcouncil seat that became vacant afterthe resignation of Balopi. Nominations ofcandidates will be received on August 23rdat Orapa Junior Secondary School between9a.m and 1p.m as well as 2:30p.m to 5p.m.The BNF will be represented by Karabo KesegoMabedza, Koketso Seloi represents theBDP while the BCP will be represented byBakwadi Seatla.