The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) says it will start mass demonstrations in the coming year as a new strategy of protesting against misrule by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government.
Speaking at the Gaborone North constituency end-of-year rally, Elmond Tafa said that this was the next form politicking that the party should adopt to bring change to Botswana. He said that rallies were a failed style of politicking, as the party wanted to topple BDP in 2019.
“If we are to show our seriousness in demanding change and forcing government to serve Batswana, then we should move away from this form of politicking. Holding rallies seem not to be working and we need to adopt the next strategy in the New Year which is marching,” he said.
Tafa said the strategy worked in South Africa and could also work in Botswana. He said that it was the only way to make government account and deliver services to Batswana. He challenged activists to organise strategic demonstrations in the new and not wait for the leadership to organise them.
“It is not for Boko or Ndaba or your leaders to organise these marches,” he said. “They can only lead but you should organise and inform them.”
Member of Parliament for Gantsi North, Noah Salakae, echoed Tafa’s sentiments. He said the BDP always panic every time the UDC organised peaceful demonstration.
“We all know what happened after we marched against government’s failure to provide water,” he said.
“They were running around and had to commission Masama the same day. This is a sign that marching and demonstrating is a powerful way of politicking.”
Salakae also said members of the UDC should not believe people who say that their MPs were not representing them well in Parliament because opposition lawmakers were always vocal about matters of national concern.