FRANCISTOWN: The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has expressed disappointment about the decision of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) to go it alone at the Moselewapula by-election billed for July 30.
It will not be the first time the BCP goes solo having fielded a candidate against the UDC in Bophirima ward in the Gaborone Bonnington South constituency in April.
The BCP released a statement this afternoon stating that it will use its symbol at Moselewapula instead of contesting under the coalition banner. Mmoloki Wairi will represent the BCP at the by-election. For days there has been mounting speculation that the BCP will not contest as part of the UDC. Prior to the BCP statement, the UDC had indicated that the former should provide a candidate for the by-election.
The BCP and its partners in the coalition, Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BCP) have fallen out recently. There have also been reports that the BPP is preparing a candidate who will represent the coalition in the event that the BCP used its symbol.
“ We are disappointed. We have been consistent that the ward is managed by the BCP and that they should provide a candidate. We expected them to provide a candidate,” said UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa.
Mohwasa added that the UDC is working on finding a candidate to represent the coalition at the by-election.
“We cannot allow a national brand like the UDC to go unrepresented at the by-election. We are still running around looking for a candidate,” said Mohwasa.
He was not elaborate when asked what kind of sanctions will be imposed against the BCP for not using the UDC symbol at Moselewapula adding that the UDC is committed to working with the BCP.
While the deadline for nominations filing to the Independent Electoral Commission is today, there are reports that the UDC has already submitted candidate name.
The UDC recently suspended BCP president Dumelang Saleshando and secretary general Goretetse Kekgonegile for openly speaking against governance challenges pertaining to the coalition. The two leaders had refused to apologise for their widespread remarks against the UDC.The BCP has made it clear that it does not recognise suspensions. It has been widely speculated that the decision of the BCP to use its symbol at the by-election was influenced by the suspension.