Mmegi Online :: Expect hybrid UDC manifesto - UB academic
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Saturday 24 August 2019, 11:44 am.
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Expect hybrid UDC manifesto - UB academic

FRANCISTOWN: A University of Botswana academic says he anticipates that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will deliver a ‘hybrid but realistic’ manifesto tomorrow.
By Chakalisa Dube Fri 17 May 2019, 12:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Expect hybrid UDC manifesto - UB academic








The anticipated manifesto launch will take place in Maun. The launch is expected to attract hundreds of UDC supporter other interested parties. 

“My thinking is that UDC has gone through the Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) manifestos. For that reason I think the UDC will deliver a manifesto that will fill the gaps in the manifestos of other political parties,” University of Botswana political science lecturer, Leonard Sesa said yesterday.

He added, “I however expect the UDC manifesto to be very realistic in terms of its targets. It should not be crafted in a manner that will only make it appear better than that of the other parties on paper. Otherwise voters will shun the UDC”.

In his often use of flowery language, Boko has referred to the ruling BDP leaders as authors of the misfortunes Batswana experience under the current government.

Sesa anticipated that the state of economy and the plight of the workers would form the core of Boko’s speech. It would be in line with the leader’s bid to convince voters to vote for the UDC at the next general elections. Using various platforms, Boko has in recent months given a preview of what his party intends to do in order to address the plight of the workers and the marginalised in the society, amongst others.

In its other interventions, the UDC has pledged to increase the minimum wage to P3, 000 in order for it to tally with the cost of living. It also once propose to create 100, 000 jobs and raise the Old Age Pension allowance to P1, 500. In its promises, the plans will take effect within the first 12 months of its new government post the October 2019 general elections. 

However, some economists have dismissed the UDC targets as unrealistic arguing that they can only be achieved on a short term or long-term basis. In their view, the country’s economy will need a significant

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make-up to accommodate reforms by the opposition coalition in the event of change of government.

“Because the UDC has been trying to win the hearts and of the people by promises and increase in the minimum wage, one would expect Boko to use the manifesto launch to unveil an action plan. It should detail how the party will implement the initiatives it has been selling to the electorate. I also expect the plan to be very coherent and convincing in terms of how targets will be achieved,” he said.

On another level, Sesa warned that if the UDC action plan is not convincing and realistic some prospective voters would lose confidence on the UDC.

The UB academic assumed that Boko would use the weekend opportunity to address some of the concerns from the UDC members.  These include, widespread talk that the leader runs the UDC alone. And that does not consult other leaders that make up  coalition.

Just recently, Botswana National Party (BNF) veterans accused Boko of secret dealings and securing funding deals for the UDC in a manner that has not been sanctioned by the coalition National Executive Committee (NEC).

Still on the UDC internal matters, Sesa pointed out that it would be improper for Boko to ignore concerns raised by party members regardless of whether they are legitimate or not. If the Boko does not react to concerns from high followers that may put the party on in negative light and overshadow its campaign strategies.

“If at all he has erred as some people insinuate it would be ideal for him to acknowledge his mistakes and move on. Every leader makes mistakes. My only challenge is that at time Boko appears to trivialise concerns from some members. This may result in people losing confidence in his leadership and on the UDC,” he said.

Sesa advised the UDC leaders to adopt a professional demeanour when responding to critics particularly from within the UDC.

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