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What next for UDC?

Crushed by a technicality, analysts call for evaluation and new leader.

On Wednesday, a five-man bench at the Court of Appeal (CoA) crushed Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) hope of taking over government from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

The court dismissed, with costs, the Umbrella’s request to challenge the outcome of 14 constituencies at last year’s general elections. The CoA ruled that, according to the Constitution of Botswana, it does not have the jurisdiction to hear such petitions.

The UDC were forced to turn to the CoA after High Court threw out their original petition on the basis the coalition failed to comply with Electoral Petitions procedures.

In light of Wednesday’s ruling, The Voice staffer, DANIEL CHIDA spoke to three Political Analysts to get their views on where the UDC go from here.

PROFESSOR AGREEMENT JOTIA

What makes a distinction between a democracy and any form of government is the respect and honour of the rule of law.

In this case, argumentatively so, the UDC approached the Courts as per the provisions of our democratic process as enshrined within our Constitution and they were given a platform to vent the displeasure.

The Courts listened and ruled. However, whether the ruling is what they expected is a subject for another intellectual engagement.

Moving forward, I take it that the UDC has a mammoth task to go on a journey of self-introspection in terms of making a very critical analysis of what else could have gone wrong during the elections besides the claims of election rigging.

Fundamental to UDC’s critical examination should be on the leadership frontier: what did the leadership do right and where did they blunder? What else could have been done differently and by who?

Going forward, how does the UDC mend the political walls of Jericho? Whom should the UDC associate with going forward and which relationship should they bring to an end?

How do you turn the UDC into a political brand going into 2024?

What do the figures of those masses who voted for UDC mean to the leadership and Botswana’s political platform in general?

These are difficult, uncomfortable and tough questions which demand nothing but logic-driven and fair critical analysis.

All in all, our democracy has never been so challenged before and I guess this is why democracy as a principle of governance is beautiful.

We disagree, challenge and accommodate diversity of opinion.

Botswana is our country – let us move forward to socio-economic and political prosperity despite the fact that some are in grief. With God, our tomorrow will be better!

LEONARD SESA

The UDC ‘s move of taking this matter to court is a sign of democracy on its own but what happened should be a wake up call for IEC in the future. It shows that they must improve and do better.

The UDC members were within their constitutional rights and the outcome shouldn’t be a blow to them but to introspect their movement.

UDC lost on a technicality and this could be based on how they interpreted law.

There are still 2024 elections and bye elections coming along the way.

Another point to be noted from the case is how the President, Mokgweetsi Masisi did not interfere.

When abroad, he made a statement that he was waiting for the outcome just like anybody else and he was prepared to accept the results.

KEBAPETSE LOTSHWAO

This was a political matter that didn’t need the court to decide.

Batswana rejected UDC and the party should have evaluated the elections to see why Batswana chose the BDP over them.

However, the ruling has brought an end to the matter and it will be laid to rest.

They must take stock of themselves since there is 2024 coming.

When doing introspection, they must also look at their leadership, especially Boko who lead the movement twice but failed to bring the needed results.

Maybe it is time for the BNF to hand over to someone like Prince Dibeela who listens to people.

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