Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leader Nehemiah Modubule questioned the decision by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to suspend Maun Members of Parliament Dumelang Saleshando of Maun West and Goretetse Kekgonegile of Maun East.
The duo was slapped with suspensions earlier this Saturday during a meeting of UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) that was held in Palapye.
Speaking to members of the press corps shortly after the NEC meeting, the UDC President, Duma Boko revealed that the decision to suspend the MPs for three months was reached after the two leaders failed to take heed of the UDC NEC’s resolution of last month to apologise for speaking ill about the coalition, which they have repeatedly described as undemocratic.
For the longest time, according to Boko, members of the UDC have always been implored to desist from always attacking the coalition in public, with Saleshando and other BCP cadres having always been seen to criticize the UDC for having its decisions unilaterally taken by one man – Duma Boko.
Boko added that a meeting between the UDC NEC and UDC Parliamentary caucus will soon take place where a decision will be made on the position of the leader of opposition in Parliament, which is currently held by Saleshando.
What however has irked the BMD leader Modubule is when Boko went further to explain that the BCP as a party has however not been suspended from the UDC, saying they remain a key partner in the coalition.
Modubule recalled a time when the BMD was expelled from the UDC in its entirety as a party when some members of the BMD were seen to be troublesome within the coalition. At the time, Modubule, along with other BMD leaders Sidney Pilane, Gilbert Mangole and Tlamelo Mmatli were seen as renegades at the UDC and instead of taking actionagainst them, their party was expelled.
“These are interesting times,” Modubule commented in a response to a facebook story announcing the suspension of Saleshando and Kekgonegile, adding that “the BMD was expelled because UDC claimed it had no powers to take action against an individual member of contracting party. What has changed,” Modubule asked.
Other commentators joined Modubule in posing this question as many shared that the UDC was wrong to suspend the individuals and not the party. Others reasoned that the UDC’s decision to take this different route to that of the BMD, was to divide the BCP knowing there are members of the party who do not agree with the behavior of their leaders. Saleshando and Kekgonegile are President and Secretary General of the BCP respectively, and have been representing their party at the UDC.
Saleshando has since poured scorn on the suspension, saying he does not recognize it, and added that people had to open their eyes on a UDC leader whose every deputy both within the UDC and at the Botswana National Front have always been seen to be troublesome.