The former Member of Parliament for Mogoditshane- Sedirwa Kgoroba says the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) needs to be democratic internally first if it wants to unseat the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
BDP has been ruling for the past fifty-five (55) years since Botswana gained independence from the Great Britain. BDP has been enjoying victory during general elections thanks to the weak, fragmented, and disorganized opposition.
By 2024, during the next general elections, BDP will be completing Fifty-eight (58) years in power. However, Kgoroba says the BDP can only be stopped if the opposition achieve democracy within itself first.
“If we want to remove BDP from government, we must start by being democratic as opposition parties. We must go for an electoral congress where each party will bring an equal number of delegates. Then we elect the president, the chairman, the secretary, and the whole executive committee. The president would then appoint his preferred vice president, so that whoever that is going to lead the opposition would be elected through a democratic process, not appointed by friends and relatives.” Kgoroba asserted.
Kgoroba further stated that the current process where constituencies are allocated to parties by the executive committee is also undemocratic. He is of the view that the there should be open primary elections for both parliamentary and council seats so that the people choose their own preferred leaders.
There has often be fights between UDC contracting partners during the allocation of constituencies. In 2014, the opposition parties went to the polls dividend by constituency allocation issue. In the run-up to 2019 elections there were internal fights in relation to constituency allocation after Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) got expelled from the UDC.
UDC is currently made up of Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP), and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). The Newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), Alliance for Progressives (AP) and BMD are outside. There are debates and considerations to bring them onboard, now one can only imagine how executive committee and constituency allocation fights would be. This is especially because UDC has more than ten (10) years now without going for an electoral congress.