Whether the court rules in favour of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) or Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), it is already clear that the parties will not work together at least for the 2019 general elections.
This has prompted the BMD to cultivate a solo road. Leader of the party, Sidney Pilane announced Saturday that they would be unveiling their manifesto this week.
He was speaking at Ledumang, Gaborone North constituency where executive mayor of Tshwane, Stevens Mokgalapa launched him.
A fortnight ago while speaking in Gaborone Bonnington South, UDC leader Duma Boko attacked Pilane labelling him as evil.
Boko told the gathering that they would never work with the BMD whether they lose or win the court cases. He even said they would fire the BMD from the umbrella coalition as many times as they may need to.
This was after revelations that the BMD had filed another case against the UDC. The BMD wants the court to interdict any party from going for elections under the UDC ticket until their current case is concluded.
In the current case, BMD is challenging its expulsion from the UDC and also wants the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) to be declared a non-member of the umbrella.
On the other hand, the BMD that prides itself as a founding member of the UDC has resolved to campaign as the BMD and discredit the UDC leadership.
During the launches of Bruce Nkgakile in Mogoditshane and Nehemiah Modubule in Lobatse, their campaign posters depicted them as ‘BMD of the UDC’, however at Pilane’s launch they kept to BMD.
One of the speakers at Pilane’s launch was John Siele, who is objecting Boko’s registration at Phase II.
Siele is represented by Pilane in the case and took a swipe at Boko during the rally. Siele said he engaged Pilane to ensure that Gaborone Bonnington North people are not represented by someone who does not live in their constituency.
Speaking at the launch, Pilane said their manifesto would have been launched at the same rally, but had to be moved to during the week, as the publisher had not finished printing it. He said they would launch it at a press conference to be called during the week. He however shared a bit on issues they address.
“As the BMD, we believe we are all born equal. All that Botswana has belong to Batswana equally and not just a few as is it the case now. We want to change this,” he said.
“We will not give you P3,500 monthly. No Motswana should live in poverty and no one should earn less than P1,500. The money is still not enough. A housing agency should build houses where Batswana can pay 10% of their salary monthly. People currently earn as little as P560 while paying P1,000 rentals,” he said.
Pilane also said education needs to be improved and they will do away with categorisation of private and public schools.
He added that public schools need to be demolished and rebuilt. Pilane said all schools should be at the level of private schools with all necessary materials in place.
On health, Pilane said all Batswana deserve quality health care.
“Illness does not class people and we believe all Batswana deserve to go to private hospitals. We have the resources to improve our facilities’ standards to those of private facilities. This would be all paid for by government. They are currently stealing the money while they seek health care as far-flung as in India,” he said.