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UDC crisis deepens

UDC PIC: Thalefang Charles
Following the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) February congress, the leadership is yet to meet. Such a move is proving to be detrimental to the coalition and information has come forward that some aligned parties are even thinking of withdrawing from the coalition.

Apparently, one of the affiliates has been lobbying others for support at the UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting for the decision to nullify the congress outcome.

UDC congress resolutions have not been implemented as the leadership has failed to meet. The UDC constitution bestows power to its president, Duma Boko, to call for NEC meeting. This means that the UDC is still run by the old constitution that is not implemented as some members had suggested.

UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa confirmed that this is their first meeting since the UDC congress.

Mmegi has however learnt that the delay to call a NEC meeting and failure to implement congress resolutions on time had not gone down well with some members, who as a result lost hope.

Some of the UDC resolutions are that article 5.3 of the constitution replace ‘may’ with ‘shall’ so that it becomes mandatory, article 5 should include suspension and termination of membership, should also allow for voluntary termination and confer powers to suspend on the UDC NEC through simple majority and powers to expel to a special congress, termination of membership, as stated in the old constitution, should be incorporated into the new constitution, there should not be any individual membership. Membership to the UDC shall only be through party affiliation, there is no logic in individual membership outside political parties as the rights of those individuals are not articulated, it is fine for the founding members to be mentioned in the constitution, article 6.1 (f) Equitable should be replaced with proportional because the latter recognises the strength of the contracting parties, article 6.1 (h) – Adopted the

principle of consensus and/or simple majority, 6.2 (m) – Parties to subscribe to UDC and the amount of subscription should be moved to regulations and not specified in the constitution,  NEC should decide if amount of contribution should be proportionate to membership base, article 7: Congress, extra ordinary congress, NEC and Policy forum. The structure will not have either women’s league or youth league, the principle of proportionality should be used as opposed to 10 members per constituency and decision-making shall be by 2/3 majority or 50% of the constituency members.

Political analyst, Leonard Sesa said the issue was whether UDC was ready for the congress and why take long to implement resolutions if they were ready. “Of course this would not sit well with members. Again implementing congress resolutions is likely to lead to the breakaway of UDC. NEC should see how they are going to implement such resolutions because the longer they wait, the more problems will come,” Sesa said.

“They need to eliminate some issues before them like congress resolutions, constituencies/wards, address issues of their primary elections so that they are clear when approaching general elections.”  Already the UDC is behind on their preparations for the general elections. The UDC affiliates; Botswana National Front, Botswana Movement for Democracy, Botswana People’s Party and Botswana Congress Party, have not yet held primary elections. The Independent Electoral Commission has announced the month for general elections registration and there will not be any supplementary.   The UDC still has issues of ward and constituency allocations that are not yet finalised. Constituencies like Moshupa/Manyana and Lentsweletau/Mmopane are still to be resolved.





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