UDC invades north

Boko addressing UDC rally in Francistown, with him is Gaolathe
Boko addressing UDC rally in Francistown, with him is Gaolathe

FRANCISTOWN: Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is beginning to invade the north where it did not do well in the last general election, a senior party leader revealed at a press conference Wednesday.

UDC chairman, Motlatsi Molapise, was confident that it was appropriate for the UDC leadership to traverse the length and breath of the northern region and set up appropriate structures.

“As we did not do well in the last general election, time is now that we do the right things and set in motion a journey to turning things around,” said the veteran opposition politician, who is also the president of the Botswana People Party (BPP).

Out of 29 constituencies north of the Dibete cordon fence, the UDC won only two constituencies in the last general election, Francistown South whose area legislator is Wynter Mmolotsi and Tawana Moremi’s Maun West.


“We have to turn tables and penetrate the northern region. Infact our presence here today is a sure sign that the journey to greater things is on,” declared Molapise.

 Molapise said the media is an important vehicle that transports information to the public, even though it is currently operating under harsh conditions as the government is denying the sector the much needed advertising.

“This is our country and whatever continues to happen, we have to defend democracy as a collective,’ he told members of the Fourth Estate.

The press conference held at the Selepa Hotel was attended by a UDC high-powered delegation, which was led by the UDC president Duma Boko.

The delegation included, Ndaba Gaolathe, Moeti Mohwasa, Mmolotsi, Richard Gudu, Tapiso Kgosikoma, Molapise, retired high court judge John Mosojane and Lebang Mpotokwane, with the latter two being conveners of opposition unity talks.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Boko told the media that the UDC leadership had met in Francistown to reflect on internal operational issues affecting their future. “Now that we are certain that the nation is set to trust us with the government we have been besieged with critical evaluation of our systems and the leadership is challenged to reflect openly,” said Boko. He said the Wednesday meeting was preparatory for the party leadership meeting to be held in due course.

“We anticipate final discussions with the BCP to take place which might result in the UDC becoming bigger and better,” Boko spoke with optimism.

He told the media that the UDC was going to engage the BCP without exerting any pressure on anybody.

“When they (BCP) are ready, they will let us know and there will be no coercion in this exercise as we continue respecting each other as different entities,” Boko said responding to media enquiries.

Boko also explained that although there was nothing in black and white between the UDC and the Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) on the type of relationship between the two, UDC naturally deals with sections of the population, groupings or individuals.

“BOFEPUSU has been able to identify who is for them, on the basis of policy offerings or types of leaders because as legislators, the UDC team continues to advocate for legislation that favours the conditions of workers among other civil society groupings,” explained Boko.

He indicated that the UDC does not have to make any written undertaking with BOFEPUSU, “they have determined that the UDC is for them. We deal with them by dealing with their issues.”

Boko stated that the UDC has come up with a maximalist approach in which they get support from religious groups, student organisations, and civil society groups by engaging them on pertinent issues.

“A Bill that seeks to enslave the teachers is coming before parliament and we are going to reject it. As the BDP MPs seeks to take from the workers, we will stand with them through the trying moment.”

Boko was also steadfast that he would not disclose who bankrolls the UDC as it has been flashing its financial muscle, for fear that the angry BDP government could sabotage them.

“I will not mention them to you because this rogue regime will victimise them. You know how vicious they are,” he said and stated that the UDC relies on local people who sacrifice their resources to fund democracy.

“They are people who are committed and they give handsomely. My personal friend, Rick Yune, was denied a visa to enter Botswana possibly on wrong suspicion.”  Boko stressed that people who have a fighting spirit fund democracy.

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