The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has emerged the biggest winner following the eventful Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) congress which most thought would be the end of the opposition coalition.
BMD secretary general, Gilbert Mangole said they were happy with how the congress went despite some challenges, praising the UDC president Duma Boko for it.
“We were always aware that there is a section of UDC members who have a problem with us. Locking out our members was part of executing the strategy to frustrate us but we remained calm. President Duma Boko proved that he is a leader as he advised those who sought to have us kicked out of the umbrella unprocedurally that they could not. He proved that he is indeed a quality leader,” he said.
Mangole said it was surprising that BMD was subjected to intense scrutiny while other parties had it easy to accredit members. Mangole said they are aware of a clique, which is doing all to fight them.
He would not say names and would not rule out if it includes some of the UDC leaders.
Mangole further said they have grown stronger over the past weeks as people were always on about their constituencies and kicking them out of the UDC.
“Very soon we will start campaigning for our 14 constituencies. We are going to prove
BMD members displayed their happiness at the UDC launch Saturday evening when they arrived with their president in an all BMD motorcade.
Proceedings had to be paused to allow Sydney Pilane and his entourage to sing celebratory songs and usher him to his seat alongside other leaders.
Taking up the podium, Pilane paid tribute to the UDC leaders starting with Boko. He applauded Boko for his visionary leadership skills, which he said would come in handy when they take State power in 2019.
Even though many voices resented what Boko said on the BMD, scores moved closer to the podium to hear him out as he addressed the gathering.
Those who had expectations that the BMD would be kicked out of the UDC were disappointed as Boko advised during the closed session that members could not take decisions such as expelling the BMD while it was not provided for in the constitution.
He had also during the congress opening declared his love for the BMD and stated that he was elected president to unite parties and not divide.