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Following an invasion of the North West region by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, his cabinet ministers and the ruling party recently to hold a robust political campaign, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) are billed to conduct separate mass rallies in Maun this weekend.
The campaigns will be spearheaded by leaders of both opposition parties, Duma Boko and Dumelang Saleshando. Both parties have however refuted that the campaigns are meant to counter the ruling party’s recent invasion noting they have long planned the events from last year.
While the opposition seek to retain the region in the 2024 general elections, the ruling party on the other hand is fighting tooth and nail to gain control. With the BCP likely to quit the UDC, it is anticipated that both parties will field candidates in the five constituencies. Four of the five being Maun West and East, Ngami and Okavango are currently under the BCP.
The opposition’s weekend campaigns are also meant to update members about their relationship as many are wondering how things will unfold between the two parties going into the general elections next year.
In an interview, UDC North West Regional Chairman Simon Nthite said the party is invading the region in full force to pave way for the 2024 general elections. He noted that a one on one meeting of party leadership and members will be the first activity of the day followed by a mega rally in the afternoon at Mummies Freedom square. Besides Boko there will also be the party chairman, Motlatsi Molapisi.
Nthite noted that UDC is currently conducting a tour across Botswana to check on their party members indicating that the party has been unable to have meetings with its members given the fact that it has issues with its coalition partner BCP.
He said though the party has not held any rallies in Maun for some time, party members are currently on the ground doing house to house recruitments to prepare for the 2024 general elections. “We are assuring constituents that UDC is active and running in the region, we will prove so through our strong campaign tactics,” Nthite noted.
Meanwhile Nthite has applauded opposition councillors for both Okavango District Council and North West District Council to have worked together towards attaining council leadership positions for the councils.
“Their unity show that the coalition work can for opposition parties in the upcoming general elections, it is pity that the UDC is currently having issues with BCP but we pray that both parties set aside their differences and unite to remove BDP from power,” Nthite said.
He said they are hopeful that the BCP will be considerate of that at their upcoming national conference set for July this year where they will decision on whether to leave the coalition or not.
Meanwhile BCP’s North West Regional Chairman Galetwaelwe Masake has also confirmed that BCP will be hosting a mega rally this Sunday at Magotho freedom square led by Saleshando, Kenny Kapinga, Caterpillar Hikuama and Vain Mamela. The rallies he said are meant to update their members about their current stand in the coalition.
Masake has indicated that the rally is part of their planned schedule indicating that they have been in the Okavango and Francistown for the past two weekends. He said the same will be extended to Gantsi areas after Maun. Masake said that the party has also been busy on the ground doing house to house campaigns and recruitments.