TATISIDING: Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) vice president Dumelang Saleshando has openly made it clear that the party will not shun former president Ian Khama’s endorsement leading to the 2019 general election.
Saleshando was speaking at the launch of UDC candidate for Tati East Mathodi Modisapodi over the weekend. He emphasised that the UDC needs votes to win elections, which is why it will not shun Khama’s endorsement.
“We never agreed with Khama for the past 20 years. During those years the ruling party members said that we should leave Khama alone and we gladly did that. Now that he is no longer the president and they differ with him they want us to be on their side. They should deal with their differences with Khama without involving us (UDC),” Saleshando said.
He added: “As per my understanding, Khama is saying people should vote for the UDC. For this reason it will not be logical for us to shun his endorsement or vote when we want to win the elections. If I had powers I would even be buying him speakers to sell the UDC brand. By accepting his votes it does not mean that we like what
Saleshando indicated that should the UDC take power after the 2019 general election, it will still call Khama to account for some of his actions (whilst still president) whenever the need arises. “If he fails to account we will take appropriate action.”
Since his much-publicised fall out with President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Khama has been endorsing UDC candidates for the 2019 general election.
Khama has also openly said that the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), a party he helped to establish a few months ago, would back the UDC at the general elections.
There are those who are of the view that the UDC should shun Khama’s endorsements and support from the BPF. Their reasoning is premised on the fact that the UDC differed extensively with Khama during his tenure as state president and BDP helmsman.