The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has revealed that it will not be there to save the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the 2024 General Election like it did in 2019.
In the 2019 polls, the BCP which was then contesting under the tri-party coalition, won 11 parliamentary seats out of possible 20 allocated to it, while their partners now turned nemesis, Botswana National Front (BNF) won only three out of a possible 30. Both the BCP and the BNF were contesting under the UDC alongside their less strong partner Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
The BCP has emphasised that it won’t contest under the UDC next year following bitter fallout over issues of governance amongst others. In a press briefing held today, the BCP secretary-general (SG) Goretetse Kekgonegile indicated that even though they have lost 19 councillors to the UDC, the latter will suffer without them in the coming polls, which will be a three-horse race between the BCP, UDC and ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
In addition to losing councillors, the BCP has also lost four of its legislators being the Leader of Opposition (LOO) and Selebi-Phikwe West Member of Parliament (MP) Dithapelo Keorapetse, MP for Palapye Onneetse Ramogapi, MP for Nkange Never Tshabang, and MP for Mahalapye West David Tshere.
The four MPs were expelled by the party’s national conference last year. Kekgonegile has since disclosed that the BCP is left with seven MPs and 48 councillors.
For his part, the BCP president Dumelang Salshando said as the BCP, they believe they genuinely made a wrong decision in 2019 by contesting under the UDC.
“We opted for a short cut that in the end violated that which we stand for. We apologise to the nation. We signed a contract with people who were never committed to honouring that contract,” he emphasised.