In a bid to protect the 13 constituencies they were allocated under the opposition coalition, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has moved to campaign against newly fielded candidates.
The party held a press conference in Lobatse last week that was then followed by a rally to kick-start Nehemiah Modubule’s campaign. Modubule is the party’s chairperson, Following its expulsion from the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the coalition moved to reallocate and field alternative candidates in all the 13 BMD constituencies.
With a court date for a case in which the BMD is challenging its expulsion set close to election month, the BMD has decided to commence its campaigns to fight for seats within the UDC.
“The elections are nearing and we cannot just sit back. We will campaign in all the constituencies allocated to us against those who hope we lose the case, so they can stand.
“We are the reason there is a UDC and we are confident that we will win the case in court hence we have started campaigns,” he said. Modubule said they have started campaigns in Mochudi West where their secretary general, Gilbert Mangole is a legislator. He said they then went to Mogoditshane where Bruce Nkgakile is their candidate, adding that they would vigorously contest in their constituencies regardless of their UDC status. “When we communicate with the potential voters we make it clear that we are running under the UDC ticket. We also explain to people that if we do not succeed in court we will still contest as the UDC so that our hard work then does not benefit others,” he said.
Quizzed on which manifesto they were selling, Modubule said they align with the UDC one. “The UDC manifesto was built on the policy document which we were part of its drafting.
We therefore fully associate with it. We will, however, also craft our own manifesto that
On the sidelines of the press conference, BMD National Organising Secretary (NOS), Freddy Ramodise attacked UDC leader Duma Boko.
“We thought we could trust him with leading and growing the UDC. He failed us; he is associating with known criminals. He is even proud of not paying tax,” he said.
Ramodise said they would not allow anyone to push them out of the UDC, as it was them who were key players in its formation. UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa said they were unmoved.
“As far as we know the BMD has been expelled from the UDC and we have since taken the matter to court. We are focussed on what we are doing. We know our members will not be confused because they know BMD has been expelled,” he said.
Political analyst, Leonard Sesa is of the view that the BMD should have long shown that they wanted to keep their constituencies.
“They seemed to have given up and have since gotten a wake up call. It is only fair that they continue campaigning as they have instituted legal proceedings. It will be interesting to see how much financial resources they put into it,” he said.
Sesa said the move would be confusing to potential UDC voters, as they will not know whom to trust.
He said both parties will have to strive to send out a louder message.
On the issue of manifesto, Sesa said the UDC should not associate with the one they did not contribute to and rather should be pushing to have the one of their own input.