Khama blamed for BPF’s withdrawal from UDC

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Khama blamed for BPF’s withdrawal from UDC
Khama blamed for BPF’s withdrawal from UDC

Africa-Press – Botswana. My position is that as a Patron I must support the party and its leadership in fulfilling its mandate – Khama

In a startling turn of events, former President Ian Khama has been singled out as the primary instigator behind Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) decision to withdraw from the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

BPF President Mephato Reatile made an announcement on the weekend about the party’s decision to withdraw from the UDC six months before general elections.

The abrupt departure of BPF, which has four Members of Parliament, from the coalition has sent shockwaves through Botswana’s political landscape, raising questions about the future dynamics of opposition politics in the country.

The announcement followed that of the Botswana Congress Party which also left the coalition last year.

While the party has decided to sever ties with the UDC, it expressed intentions to explore the possibility of forming a pact with the umbrella coalition, indicating a desire to maintain a presence within the opposition sphere.

Speculation has been rife regarding the motives behind BPF’s exit from the UDC, with many observers pointing out Khama’s influence as a key factor.

Khama, a controversial figure in Botswana politics, is the BPF Patron and has been alleged to be its major financier and therefore influencing some major decisions.

His strained relationship with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), led by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, has been widely documented, and his alignment with the opposition has been seen as a strategic move to challenge the status quo.

According to a source within the BPF NEC, Khama is not happy with how the negotiations for constituencies went.

“He thinks UDC does not value us that much hence the decision to refuse with some of the constituencies we saw as winnable for us,” said the source. The source further named constituencies such as, Shashe West, Shoshong, Tonota and Francistown East as some of the constituencies that Khama is eying. The source added that a request by the Botswana National Front to have Mmadinare Constituency became a deal breaker for Khama. He felt BPF was undermined,” said the source.

However, UDC Head of Communications, Moeti Mohwasa declined to comment on the matter saying they will attend to the BPF exit letter on Friday.

“We will attend to the letter on Friday at the NEC meeting before we can respond accordingly,” added Mohwasa.

Meanwhile, Khama said, “My position is that as Patron I must support the party and its leadership in fulfilling its mandate as a political organization in the manner it chooses to embark upon. As such when it was decided to join the UDC I supported that and now as the decision is to continue in a pact, which we have been in for the last five years then that is also acceptable because we remain committed to working with the UDC and achieving the electoral successes as demonstrated in the by elections and BDP strongholds in 2019.”

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