The leader of the disgruntled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Advocate Sydney Pilane has sent a strong warning to the leaders of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko and Dumelang Saleshando to thread carefully as he will ensure that UDC will be destabilised should the duo not consider bringing back the BMD into the UDC fold.
Advocate Pilane made the call during party’s media briefing on Wednesday where he insisted that the party will never surrender its battle against the UDC. He said Boko and Saleshando should not think they have solved anything by kicking BMD out as UDC will ever endure any progress.
“We have accepted that we have been kicked out of the UDC which we are the original architects of. BMD will not surrender hence the reason why we have filed court papers against UDC which I am confident we will win,” charged Pilane.
He said him and some of the current BMD members left the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) with the intention of uniting the opposition, something he said they did very well as shown by the party’s good performance at the 2014 general elections.
Pilane said the BMD played a significant role in ensuring that UDC garnered 17 Parliamentary seats due to its commitment to the growth of UDC.
He said Botswana National Front and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) should not be excited that they will contest elections under UDC banner, saying unless the court case is concluded they will have to contest for elections as individual parties.
Pilane has remained firm that the party will not consider withdrawing its court case against the UDC and will never approach them for possibility of reconciliation. However, he said if UDC contacts them they will listen to what they offer.
BMD Secretary General Gilbert Mangole rubbished claims by Duma Boko that the UDC has previously given the BMD time to reconsider itself and propose a meeting with the UDC to settle the two‘s disputes.
“Boko was simply telling blue lies because he has never given us an opportunity to appeal our expulsion from the UDC but the only thing he was quick to act was slapping us with the expulsion letter from the party. He has never given us any correspondence for us to sort ourselves out first,” reckoned Mangole.
Mangole resigns as opposition chief whip
Kgatleng East MP has confirmed his resignation as the opposition chief whip in parliament citing tensions or divisions existing between the opposition MPs.
He however stressed that he voluntarily stepped down denying pressure from the UDC members in parliament either from BCP or BNF, adding that since BMD was expelled from the UDC he found it not smooth to work with the UDC MPs in parliament.
“I resigned my position of chief whip without any pressure from anyone and I want to confirm that I stand as a UDC MP in parliament and no one can push me out of that status because we went to parliament as UDC MPs and I wonder why BCP MPs continue to poke their noses in who is a UDC MP, whose not,” Mangole added.
Mangole also expressed discontent against the UDC for recruiting their members, saying some of their members have confirmed being cajoled by top UDC officials to join the BNF or BCP in order for them to contest elections against the UDC.
Dr Mmatli’s absentia worries BMD
Molepolole South legislator and BMD vice president Dr Tlamelo Mmatli’s absence and engagement within BMD is somehow causing concern for the BMD top table.
Mmatli was absent during the party‘s media briefing. Mangole however defended Dr Mmatli’s absence, saying he was away on Parliamentary business. Mmatli told this publication last week that he remains committed to BMD despite him being spotted at UDC meetings.
The party welcomed has new members including two councilors – one from the BDP and another from the BCP.