On Tuesday, the leadership of the opposition bloc, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) converged at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng to tackle yet another headache.
On the agenda was affiliate member, the Botswana Movement for Democracy and its president, Sidney Pilane. It is not for us to tell how parties or coalitions should go about their business. But it is certainly important that we have highly contested general elections, and therefore the status of the opposition matters.
A highly contested election makes those in power to outdo themselves and deliver services to the people. Voter registration is ongoing with few numbers turning up as some feel it is not worth voting, as there is confusion. One of the reasons for that is because there is still confusion about candidates they could vote for. The four parties could be doing much more to encourage more Batswana to register and vote in 2019. Instead they are at war with themselves.
While most thought the Tuesday meeting would solve the contentious issue of how the coalition would be constituted going into the elections, and another critical one of the recent rejection of the UDC constitution by the Registrar of Societies, the meeting just came to naught. Members of the four contracting opposition parties are in the dark as to what the future holds for them. There are also issues of constituency and ward allocations which are still pending as parties are wrestling over them. In areas like Tlokweng, Ramotswa and Lentsweletau/Mmopane, different contracting parties have fielded candidates, fuelling both confusion and tension further.
We also urge the individual member parties’ leadership to engage maturely and come up with a sustainable solution. They should all know that it is all about bettering lives of Batswana and not their individual interests. We urge UDC leader, Duma Boko to act now as time waits for no man. For the longest time now, Boko has been saying that all is under control while on the ground it is visible that he leads divided people some of whom have lost trust in him. Go on and show us what you mean. By that you excel in troubled times, ‘Mr Intellectual Gladiator’.
“You can compromise between good, better, and best, and you can compromise between bad and worse and terrible. But you can’t compromise between good and evil. And now people look at the other side as a completely different kind of animal and say, ‘They are taking the country down the road to purgatory’. It’s complete intolerance.”
– Gary Ackerman