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BPP, BMD challenge new constitution

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Things have taken a nasty twist within the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) after the submission of the constitution to the Registrar of Societies last week by president Duma Boko.

It has since emerged that two contracting parties, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) are challenging the registration of the amended constitution.

This has pitted the other contracting partners, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana National Front (BNF) in one corner and BMD and BPP in another. The latest bout sees the parties fighting over registration of a new constitution welcoming the BCP into the party. BMD and BPP are fighting to stop the Registrar of Societies from registering a constitution filed by Boko last week.  The constitution amongst other things, which were adopted by a UDC congress held in February, provides for one vice president and gives power to the UDC president to expel or suspend members amongst other things.

This has angered both the BPP and BMD who say they are in possession of a proper constitution providing for two vice presidents and do welcome BCP as a member of UDC.

“The constitution that all four affiliates had agreed on is the one which has two vice presidents, not one. We are going to channel our concerns to UDC National Executive Committee (NEC).

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I believe the new constitution was registered mistakenly,” BMD spokesperson, Rasina Rasina said.

BPP secretary general, Venter Galetshabiwe stated that, “We have assigned BMD President Sidney Pilane to talk about the matter. The constitution that we agree on, has not been registered.  Our party does not agree with the registered one and we were not informed about it”.

However, UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa said the new constitution was amended in line with the resolutions of the UDC congress that took place at Boipuso Hall in February this year.

“Each party was requested to bring two representatives when the amendment were done. People at Boipuso Hall had spoken and there is no way we can go against their word. If anyone or a member has any complaint, he/she could follow the channel that is laid out in our constitution,” Mohwasa said. 

This is despite the fact that BMD leadership has always maintained that the UDC congress could only make recommendations and the NEC would make final decisions.

Both BNF and BCP conferences held over the past President Holidays have given the UDC leadership until mid-August to have finished with the UDC problems.



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