Botswana – BMD Crisis, Boko Calls For Calm

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The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) says it will look into the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) crisis before the end of the week after the two warring factions submitted their congress reports.

The UDC president, Duma Boko said yesterday; “I believe UDC will address the issue as quickly as possible. We could not act on the BMD matter because they had not invited us to do so. The reports from two camps were formally presented to UDC last week. All the concerned members would not sit when the matter is looked into.”

He said before the real issues could start, both concerned members need to cool first.

Boko said since they got facts from those who were involved, then UDC would know where to start.

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He stated that the constitution of any organization is a contract and one must conduct himself according to it. “We will not be dismembering anyone on this. The child must live and not be dismembered. My mission is to unite opposition parties not to divide it,” he said.

Boko said he believes that the UDC had acted at the right time because if they involved themselves in BMD issues, then they could be compromised and they were going to fail to resolve the matter.

He said that is the reason why he has advised his party members not to be too involved on BMD issues and stop taking sides before they could even make investigation.

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“I remained firm. The reason why I did so was because I cannot be a judge in a matter where I was too involved,” he said.

The UDC constitution gives power to the national congress or the National Executive Committee (NEC) to suspend or expel a group member if it believes that one is acting against the interests of the Umbrella.

The group member may be expelled for failing to attend more than two consecutive meetings without apology acceptable to NEC or their failure to pay its group membership fees.  On issues of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS), Boko said there is nothing new, stating that intelligence agencies have always spied on opposition parties even during Sir Seretse Khama and Sir Ketumile Masire’s era.

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He said this should not come as a surprise to many since the Botswana National Front (BNF) has had cases and reports that were leaked during the time of special branch, the entity that preceded DIS.

“We have survived that and members should not panic, but rather conduct themselves in a manner that would help them to win against such intelligence. We should stay focused and know what we want to achieve as opposition parties,” Boko said.

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