The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Advocate Duma Gideon Boko is buoyant that the opposition is poised for stunning victory in 2024, but political analyst Lesole Machacha advises that he swallow his pride first.
Machacha commended the signing of the signing of bye election Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) midweek by contracting parties UDC, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives (AP), saying it is crucial. According to the political analyst, the ball is now all in Boko’s court to ensure that he leads opposition parties to victory, adding that he should respect Dumelang Saleshando and Ndaba Gaolatlhe as his core leaders. He warns that Boko arrogance can cost the united opposition an opporutnity to overthrow Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
“Boko is good at mobilizing and he can be a great leader if he can learn to swallow his pride and arrogance to accommodate views of those working with him. He must be patriotic and candid in dealing with issues that arise in the coalition to avoid collapse of unity talks," observed Machacha, reiterating that Boko should forget about the 2019 elections outcome and make peace with what transpired in court when the coalition petitions were thrown out by judges.
According to him, the UDC president could have been misled by the social media hype ahead of the 2019 elections, citing the multitudes of people who stormed his launch few days before the polls. “Boko will be critical in taking the opposition forward. He has all the resources or brains at his disposal in terms of Saleshando and Ndaba. It is important that all this three intelligent leaders work well together. They can for sure give BDP run for their money if they are united, “he said.
The maverick Boko said the current regime under President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is unlawful, noting that he will ensure that Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is independent. According to him, from now onwards going to 2024 elections, he will fight tooth and nail with other leaders of opposition parties for a complete overhaul of electoral system to avoid fraud.
The UDC leader is adamant that the opposition coalition he leads won the 2019 general elections. “Victory is certain for us in 2024. I will firmly advocate for the complete overhaul of the existing electoral system which is prone to fraud and hijacking by external forces such as the DISS. I shall fight for a truly independent IEC away from Office of the President bondage,’’ said furious Boko.
Former Gaborone Bonnington North MP went on to buttress that there will be rising challenges facing the journey of opposition cooperation but said they must be dealt with high awareness.
“In the build up to 2014 elections, I was engaged in spat with comrade Dumelang Saleshando when BDP was going solo then. But, today we are seating together in the same table because our past was dealt with amicably. There will be challenges but no room for disunity,” said Boko.
He noted that the cooperating parties will differ in opinions through the journey but this should not be interpreted as if there is instability within the opposition as it will be testing their strength.
Opposition signs MOU
The presidents of the contracting parties being UDC, AP and BPF on Wednesday advanced their cooperation unity a step further by sealing bye election deal with memorandum of understanding.
The spirit and the purpose according to the parties is to ensure electoral gains and victory in the bye-election, with each of contracting parties enjoined in selection of candidates among others.
“Continuing cooperation in the bye-elections will strengthen our commitment to party-to party relationships and working to increase the understanding of Batswana about all social, economic and political problems confronting the country, “the cooperating parties said in the MOU deal.
AP vice president Wynter Mmolotsi reiterated that his party is ready to work with UDC and BPF.
Mmolotsi is adamant that the opposition will win all three pending council bye elections as this will be a starting point for the opposition to wrestle power from BDP which he said its time is up.
For his part, BPF president Biggie Butale said BDP is in serious dilemma looking at the fact that the opposition will be strong for it hence cautioning BDP that it prepares to be opposition party.
Efforts to reach BDP Chairman of Communications Kagelelo Kentse were futile as his phone was off.