The amended Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constitution incorporating the February 2018 congress resolutions, now arms their national congress or the National Executive Committee (NEC) to suspend or expel a group member for acting against the interests of the coalition. Staff Writer OARABILE MOSIKARE reports
On July 12, 2018 UDC president Duma Boko wrote to the Registrar of Societies for approval, informing him about the amended UDC constitution following the Boipuso Hall congress.
Group members of the UDC are Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). It was at this historic gathering that the delegates resolved to amend its constitution.
In this new document, the national congress, or the NEC may also suspend or expel the group member for failing to attend more than two consecutive meetings of the NEC without an apology acceptable to the NEC.
The NEC may also suspend or expel the member for failing to pay its group membership fees. But not such suspension or expulsion as may be imposed by the NEC shall have effect unless the NEC has notified the affiliate in writing of the reasons for the suspension or expulsion and has granted the affiliate permission to present its case to the NEC.
Again, the NEC may not impose suspension or expulsion unless the affiliate has been given notice of their intention to appeal to the Executive Secretary within 30 days of the decision.
The appeal shall be made to the national congress and/or to the special congress, whichever is the earlier and the decision of the congress shall be final and binding.
Succeeding presidents of the UDC shall be democratically elected at the UDC congress. The national congress elects people to the national executive positions from the group members.
These are the president, vice president, national chairperson, treasurer general, secretary for communication and publicity, secretary for legal affairs, secretary for labour affairs, secretary for gender affairs, secretary for international affairs, secretary for youth affairs and one member from each of the contracting parties.
The NEC shall hold office for a period of four years until the next election. With the submission of the new constitution, the old constitution registered by the Registrar of Societies on August 23, 2012 for purposes solely of enabling the UDC to participate in the 2014 general elections and subsequent elections as a single political party, is repealed.
In conclusion the new constitution states: “All such acts as have been, or are being carried out under the repealed constitution, shall be of force and effect and shall be considered as having been done under this constitution”.