President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko on Monday opened up about the challenges facing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) as they might spill over to UDC and disrupt their quest to attain state power. Addressing members of the media, Boko touched on many issues but cardinal in his speech were the problems besieging BMD, infiltration of the opposition by the security agents especially Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) and the animosity between BOPEU and BOFEPUSU.
Over the President Holidays, the nation glued to their television sets in shock and disbelief as members of BMD threatened to end each other’s life by belting stones at other. This led to some been hospitalised with serious injuries. As that was not enough, the two factions, one led by Ndaba Gaolathe while the other by Sidney Pilane held parallel congress and elected their leaders. Questions were raised that Boko has failed BMD as he didn’t intervene but the allowed the situation degenerate into a political crisis. In his defence, Boko said that it could have been a terrible mistake and error of judgement if the UDC could have intervened in the BMD crisis. “The UDC must not discern into the arena of conflict and what we did by not taking sides is a political and constitutional masterstroke,” said Boko. He revealed that he is not aligned to any of the factions as such he is very clean to mediate on the matter. “Comradeship is not friendship. After our elective congress in Francistown last year, I had to work with comrades who the BNF have elected to lead them. We need to separate ourselves from these entanglements as leaders,” said
Boko in a veiled statement.
Boko revealed that both factions have submitted their National Executive Committees to the UDC and will act upon the two after looking at the reports. “This is when UDC can now address the issue and both parties will not be allowed to sit on those meetings,” said Boko. He denied that they have appointed a team of experts to address the BMD debacle. One thing that he said has given them hope that there is redemption for BMD is when the two parties managed to sit down and talk when called by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Bobonong recently. One of the issues that have divided the BMD is the constitution which some say it was not followed while the other faction said it is just a piece of paper and the voice of the people is the voice of God. In response, Boko said that a law is a law, “We are in bondage of the law in order that we might be free. We cannot ran away from it whether we like it or not,” explained Boko.
BOPEU versus BOFEPUSU
Boko revealed that at their Kang conference, they made a resolution to help bring peace between BOFEPUSU and its breakaway member BOPEU for the sake of the working class. He said that both parties have admitted that the animosity between them is not good for the labor movement. He said recently he called on BOPEU leadership to stop their advertorials in local media where they castigated BOFEPUSU and they obliged. Recently some BOFEPUSU leaders were not happy that attorney Martin Dingake who is also Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Presidential Spokesperson represented BOPEU against them and viewed it as betrayal. Boko said that Dingake has an obligation as a attorney to represent whoever approaches him as failure to do that will be unethical. “I have also during my time as an attorney represented even Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members,” said Boko in defence of Dingake.
Exposure of opposition leaders by the media
Last week some members of the press said that they will start digging out corruption dirt by opposition leaders. Boko said that he was surprised by the announcement which he said wondered where it came from and why now. “I was told by some of our members that the target was me and that I was under attack,” he revealed adding that he has crafted a path which he has no intention of moving away from it and become a rogue. “Cash rules everything around me but doesn’t rule,” said the outspoken UDC leader as he quotes American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, from their 1993 studio album. He said he knew about allegations that someone is fronting for him at the Plajtaan Bridge in the SPEDU region.
Infiltration by the security agents
For the past two weeks, media was awash with some leaked intelligence which are alleged from Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) which point to an infiltration into opposition politics in order to destabilise them. In response, Boko said that people should not be hysterical about the infiltration as it has been happening even before independence. He cited an intelligence report which was done in 1968 snooping on who funded BNF.
“As BNF we are aware of that and as such we will not fall into the trap as forewarned is forearmed,” said Boko adding that when this happens they look and access before moving on.