Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) inaugural congress to be held in Gaborone on February 24 has got a potential of running into a serious chaos if information reaching publication is anything to go by. This follows a secret meeting held between Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) at Thapama hotel in Francistown on Wednesday. The BPP Secretary General, Venter Galetshabiwe confirmed the meeting between the two opposition political groupings but could not be drawn into divulging the nitty-gritties of the secret meeting which was attended by BMD president Advocate Sydney Pilane and his BPP counterpart Motlatsi Molapisi. “BMD requested the meeting with the sole purpose of encouraging us (the BPP) to attend UDC meetings at all cost,” said Galetshabiwe, adding that the rest of the discussions were “strictly internal” and not for public consumption. However, impeccable sources say BMD and BPP have hatched a grand plan not to allow the discussion of constituencies at the forthcoming congress. “The BMD had come to enlist the support of the BPP at the forthcoming congress,” declared a source, adding that the BMD is fighting tooth and nail not to give both the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front (BNF) any chance at the congress.
Unsubstantiated claims are that the BCP has been secretly working with the BNF to hoodwink the BMD into admitting to transfer some of its (BMD) constituencies to them. According to highly placed sources within the opposition realms, BCP and BNF are convinced that the BMD does not have the capacity to field candidates in all the 14 constituencies allocated to them. The understanding of the BCP and BNF is allegedly that the BMD has lost a large chunk of supporters to the newly formed Alliance for the Progressives (AP). Added the source, “Pilane and company want BPP to agree with them that the congress is unlawful. Pilane is pulling all stops to ensure that the impending inaugural congress is deemed unlawful without fail.” “If the meeting is allowed to continue, Pilane wants to ensure that it should not renegotiate constituencies and also the position of the Vice President (VP),” said the impeccable source. UDC head of communications Moeti Mohwasa could not be drawn into discussing the matter and requested this writer to send a message. In a brief response he wrote "we were not aware and therefore we cannot comment as we do not know what its agenda was".