Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana National Front (BNF) president Duma Gideon Boko has dismissed suggestions his coalition party is the reason behind the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) split. Dismissing any wrongdoing on the part of the UDC in dealing with the BMD problems, Boko said the party had a long running cancer. “We called the then BMD president (Ndaba Gaolathe) on several occasions in a bid to understand the quandary that was purportedly bedeviling the BMD. But he was always professing the party’s good health,” said Boko when addressing UDC members in Francistown last Thursday. UDC leadership is currently on a countrywide tour to set the record straight on BMD issues. Boko was personally accused of being biased towards either of the then BMD factions, depending on which side the accuser was. Gaolathe was leading the other faction while the current BMD president Advocate Sydney Pilane led another. “BMD’s internal troubles ended up in the catastrophic strife and bloodbath that transpired at Matshekge Senior Secondary School in July this year,” explained Boko in reference to the ugly incidents which transpired in Bobonong during the BMD congress in July. Following the clashes between members, the then Gaolathe led faction decided to hold its own congress.
“The only crime I could have committed is being unbiased. I was as impartial as possible when deliberating the BMD issue,” said Boko, adding, “Who am I to find one guilty before natural justice was followed? Even God listened to Adam and Eve before chastising them.” After intense deliberations and discussions, Boko said the UDC came to a conclusion that the then two factions should go for a power-sharing deal. “We even suggested that the UDC was going to offer psychotherapy for the then warring factions at BMD. But all fell by the wayside when the other faction announced formation of the Alliance for Progressives a day after the decision was taken,” he said. For his part, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) president Dumelang Saleshando echoed Boko’s words, saying it was disheartening that the BMD circus ended up in a split. “We are all our brothers’ keepers and even at this stage, members of the newly formed AP remain our brothers. We are not happy at all that the BMD has split,” said Saleshando.