The Convenor of Umbrella 1 talks, Lebang Mpotokwane, says he and his colleagues were never members of any opposition party but were merely helping a fragmented opposition to unite in
order to offer a real alternative to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
Mpotokwane’s team included Emang Maphanyane and Samuel Mpuchane among many others who had agreed to help the opposition that Emang Maphanyane and Samuel Mpuchane among many others who had agreed to help the opposition that is now pursuing self-mediation under the leadership and guidance of Margaret Nasha.
Mpotokwane has told this publication that he and his colleagues were never members of the UDC. “We were drawn to the UDC by a desire to have a vibrant opposition that can compete and offer an alternative,” he said in an interview. “We were never members of the UDC. Someone once asked if we would extend the same assistance to the ruling party if asked to and our answer was a resounding yes. We have got no interest in politics (for ourselves).”
Although they are not happy with how they have been sidelined, Mpotokwane said they would always be available to assist if called upon. “But we are tired and we have always asked to be excused but were asked to hang on for a while,” he said.
The UDC is currently in talks with the Alliance for Progressives and the controversial Botswana Patriotic Front. The talks have ignited divisive debate within the coalition. Many wait keenly to see whether the Botswana Movement for Democracy, which was expelled from the UDC before the general elections last year, will be allowed back into the fold.