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UDC Intervention Could Save BMD

The importance of the functionality of competitive party politics in a democracy cannot be overemphasised. We know that societies need to hold their government accountable for its actions.

One way of doing so is by having a strong opposition to play a pivotal role ofensuring that the rule of law is upheld and human rights and good governance are respected.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), has been in power since the time the country gained independence. That in some way, has gotten certain sections of the society worried that the government has become complacent and arrogant with more interest in enriching themselves rather than serving the interests of the very society, which elects them into power.

Botswana has always had opposition parties, but the political alliance formed by a number of opposition political parties in 2012 that came to be the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), gave many hope that maybe it will shake the BDP, or that ultimately power will change hands in Botswana.

Founding members of UDC are the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana National Front (BNF), and Botswana People’s Party (BPP), with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) jumping on the bandwagon only recently. While some members of society had placed their hopes on the alliance, and were seeing a possibility of Botswana having a change of government in the future, major cracks emerged in one of the member parties, BMD.

Most people at first took the misunderstandings lightly

and thought things would return to normal in no time, but of course the disagreements have escalated, as evidenced by the violence which erupted in Bobonong about two weeks back. The party now is at loggerheads with members split between two factions, led by Sydney Pilane and one led by Ndaba Gaolathe.

The wars between these factions do not seem to be abating, and at some point in time, one of the factions suggested that the only congress, which will bring acceptable results is one where proceedings will be observed by an independent party.

The wars have gone on too long, and perhaps it is about time members of the alliance intervened and seek a solution, working more towards strengthening the party rather than destroying it. The alliance relies heavily on the strength of member parties, and if one is seen to be limping the other members should be quick to offer their help.

Some people have argued that BMD is an independent party, and therefore, other UDC members cannot interfere in its internal wars, but the formation of UDC, was done for the purpose of uniting the opposition, hence the need for members of the UDC to ensure aid for one of their own to restore its health.




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