Botswana: UDC Refutes Khama Funding Claims

The opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has refuted claims that the party has received funding from external sponsors such as former president Ian Khama to for their glamorous manifesto launch in Maun over the weekend.

UDC Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa, told The Patriot on Sunday, on the sidelines of a media briefing on Tuesday, that the manifesto launch is fully self-sponsored by current Members of Parliament and Councilors without involvement of external funding. He dismissed claims linking Khama to the UDC, and allegations that he is bankrolling their campaign. "MPs contributed P2 000 each while councilors across the country popped out P1 000 contribution each. None of funds used for our manifesto launch comes from external sponsors, not even from Khama,"he said.

Speculation that Khama may have assisted the UDC with some funds was heightened by complaints from BNF Veterans League, who claim that the party leader has sourced funding from Khama. In a statement BNF Veterans League blasted Boko for indulging in secret dealings and sourcing funding from Khama through some of his rich South African business friends.They condemn Boko's conduct arguing that his strategy is not even sanctioned by the UDC National Executive Committee (NEC). The veterans further suggested that the dealings are Boko's own imposed initiatives designed to enable him to attain state power at all cost at the expense of the BNF and UDC Alliance.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Mohwasa reiterated that they had not invited Khama to their manifesto launch because he is not a member of the UDC. The expelled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was also not invited.

However, Mohwasa could not be drawn to discuss the relationship between Boko and Khama, which continues to divide his party the BNF and the colaition UDC. Lately, Boko and Khama have been praising each other publicly, sparking wide criticism from some opposition members.

During a rally in Serowe recently Boko said him and Khama have never hated each other, before encouraging Bangwato to attend a meeting on May 04 called by their Kgosikgolo in large numbers. In turn Khama spoke in favour of Boko at the meeting, blasting government for impounding Boko's campaign helicopters, saying that amounts to killing Botswana's democracy.

BNF divided

One of the contracting partners of the UDC, BNF, headed to the manifesto launch limping due to a fall out between members over Boko's continuing relationship with Khama. BNF Vice President Dr Mosieraele Dibeela and the BNF Veterans League have openly expressed discontent over the Khama association with the UDC. Dibeela has since indicated that he will not accept Khama.

"The BNF Veterans would like to express its unwavering solidarity and support for the BNF Vice President Comrade Prince Dibeela, and the BNF North Central (Bamangwato heartland) Regional Secretary, Comrade Mmolawa for their principled opposition to these traitorous and treacherous secret deals and funding," BNF veterans said in a statement.

BNF veterans contend that Dibeela and Mmolawa are brave, courageous and disciplined cadres of the BNF movement, who will not sell their souls for Ian Khama's pot of soup and diphaphata and/ or Moti Group money.

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