Madibela Tlhopho, angels or hooligans?

Police officers and Madibela Tlhopho outside a polling station in Serowe PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Police officers and Madibela Tlhopho outside a polling station in Serowe PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Madibela Tlhopho is an official Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) group or arrangement endorsed by the UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) and a project under the office of the UDC president, Duma Boko. After their clash with armed security forces recently during a by-election in Serowe West, Mmegi Staffer MOMPATI TLHANKANE looks at the group, which presents itself as the angels of the electoral system despite being painted as hooligans.

“Yo o tla lekang go tsietsa mo ditlhophong o tshwanentse a kgorelediwe; ha ele gore o nna mongala go dirisiwe dikgoka tse di lekaneng go mo kgwabohatsa le go mo itsa go dira tsietso (Whoever tries to steal elections should be impeded, if they are obstinate we should use the same force to tame or thwart their cheating actions),” UDC president Boko told a group of UDC members last month ahead of the Mmaphula by-election in Palapye where the opposition coalition hosted the National Madibela Tlhopho workshop.

Madibela Tlhopho is not new. Boko, who is the overseer of the group, has previously mentioned them in passing. But it was only this year that the group was conferred official in the UDC. Boko has always remained adamant in his belief that the 2019 general election was rigged by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

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This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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