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UDC charges unrepentant BMD

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
BMD leadership PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has slapped the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) president Sidney Pilane and his party with five charges.

In the letter dated September 26, 2018 written by UDC president Duma Boko, it states: “The president of BMD has persistently made very divisive and toxic pronouncements on social media and in interviews that he has held.

These have been made out of turn, and without the sanction and authority of the UDC itself and have painted a picture of a UDC in total discord, where each leader says what he wants without regard to what is in the best interests of the UDC and pays no regard to public perception.

In relation to internal matters of the UDC, the BMD president has persistently taken any disagreements he may have had to public platforms at which he has disparaged the UDC and brought it into disrepute, tarnishing it and diminishing its prospects. 

The statements made by the BMD president have been made for and on behalf of BMD and have not been disavowed by BMD”.  The letter says the BMD president has generally been uncooperative, and his attitude and approach has characterised how the BMD has dealt with other cooperating partners within UDC. 

 It continues: “The failed engagements with the Botswana National Front (BNF) regarding Moshupa/Manyana by-election resulted in an embarrassing loss to the UDC in a constituency it had done well in 2014 and stood the best chance of improving numbers. 

“The cumulative effect of all these and other issues has been that members to mark and express their disapproval of the BMD and its leader”.  It further states that Pilane flooded social media and private radio stations with statements that are highly uncomplimentary of UDC and staged walk outs from meetings, which BMD leader addressed as seen at the Ramokgwebana by-election where large numbers of attendants walked out. 

Boko said at a recent UDC event in Gabane, there were “unpleasant exchanges and acts of booing directed at the BMD leader, which threatened to disrupt the peace of the event and further play out in

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full public view the resentment for the BMD leader”. 

It says the BMD president has been roundly rejected by both the general membership of the UDC as well as the general populace and breakaway session has affected the rates at which people who sympathise with the UDC register in the ongoing national voter registration exercise since huge numbers of potential voters have expressed their serious disapproval of BMD president’s behaviour and associate it with BMD. 

However, BMD says it does not accept suspension from the UDC, which it has affiliated to. They state this in their responding letter to UDC dated September 26, 2018 and written by secretary general Gilbert Mangole.

“The BMD does not accept the suspension conveyed by your letter as, not only is its purport unlawful, it is also entirely baseless. 

This came after UDC president, Duma Boko announced that the UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) has resolved to suspend the BMD from membership of the UDC with immediate effect and is called upon to, within 14 days of date hereof, at any rate no later than October 18, 2018 make written representations to the NEC as why the suspension should not be confirmed and/or escalated to expulsion”. 

He further says: “We intend, nevertheless, to respond in detail to the matters in your letter set out as well as to others which, although not mentioned, are pertinent to our answer.

 To enable us to answer fully, we require the following: a copy of the notice inviting the BMD to the meeting of the NEC of the UDC, which in terms of your letter was held on September 25, 2018; a copy of minutes and complete record of the aforesaid meeting, including the attendance list containing the names of the persons present thereat; copies of the documents and such other evidence and information in your possession at the time of the meeting aforesaid, which form the basis of the conclusions and findings”.



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