Registrar of Societies have rejected the amended constitution of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) as it does not recognise UDC as a political party, but rather as a mere cooperation agreement between four political parties.
When turning down the constitution signed by UDC leader, Duma Boko and Botswana Congress party’s leader, Dumelang Saleshando, the Registrar, C. Davids Okelo-Wengi, stated that, “furthermore, note that UDC is not a political party, but a cooperation agreement by the above mentioned political parties for a common political goal,” and added that because all the four parties are listed in the schedule, “in our opinion, the registration of UDC’s constitution falls outside the scope of the Act.”
Although the registrar highlighted the fact that other UDC party members, Botswana Movement for Democracy and Botswana People’s party have registered their objection against the amended constitution, the objections were not said to have been the cause of the rejection.
The amendment was to include the late comer into the coalition; BCP.
At the time of going to print, UDC had not yet responded to our calls and there was obvious confusion among its candidates, especially those of the BCP.
“I have been waiting to start campaigns, but now I am confused. How do I sell myself to electorates, do I say I am BCP or UDC? If I say BCP, they will say look, BCP is a traitor, at the same time we are told UDC is not a political party! We are in a dilemma,” expressed one BCP council candidate.
Suspended BMD Youth League Secretary General, Leak Seboko, views the whole saga as a grand game of political betrayal by powers that be.
“It is a political game, delay tactics. What is happening is that our detractors know that UDC is a threat that the ruling party has to reckon with at the general elections. The combination of the four political parties pose a serious threat , more so that the BDP itself is divided across factional lines, so the best thing for them to do is delay UDC campaign and cause confusion,” Seboko stated.
He added that, “the next thing they hope for is an urgent court application, followed by normal re-application to the registrar of societies and the process will take time. UDC cannot go for elections without a constitution.”
Seboko added, “The big question remains however, when the registrar admitted the initial UDC constitution in 2012, which Act were they using?”