Former MP for Lobatse, Nehemiah Modubule could be considering a reunion with coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ahead of the 2024 general elections.
The Patriot on Sunday is reliably informed that Modubule is thinking of leaving the moribund Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) to switch to the coalition. It is said Modubule will seek for UDC back love under the Botswana National Front (BNF) banner. “Modubule has silently dumped BMD and that means that the party is officially dead as he has been the only influential member remaining after the departure of Sydney Pilane resigning as the president. Gilbert Mangole left the party as Secretary General to take over as Ambassador of Botswana to India following his appointment by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in 2020. Now Modubule wants a political formation that can revive his political career in future,” a source said.
Modubule has been pillar of the UDC and BMD during the 2014 general elections that saw the combined opposition coalition that was made of BMD, BNF and BPP winning 17 parliamentary seats.
In an interview on Friday, Modubule said for now he cannot say what his political future looks like. He said there is no truth that he is quitting the BMD as he is still remains the member of party. “The BMD is still alive and I am the member on the good standing. We have a workshop over the weekend as our efforts to revive the party and its structures. Currently there is a lot that is happening on our opposition politics and for me to say that I can be joining the BNF or any other party where we are today would need time for serious discussion and introspection,” he added.
Furthermore, Modubule said the BMD is also preparing to hold elective congress later this year. He also indicated that the party remains resolute that united opposition could attain state power. “It has been said that the BMD has been quite when other opposition parties have progressed with cooperation talks. Currently, there are chaos within the UDC and we believe that all gets under control. Who will BMD approach now for unity when there is disagreements,” he added.
UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa who is also BNF Secretary General didn’t respond to this publication’s enquiries when asked if Modubule has shown intentions to rejoin UDC and BNF.
Modubule was amongst the leaders of BMD when it was expelled from UDC prior to 2019 polls. The UDC NEC decided to expel the BMD led by Pilane from the coalition following the power struggle between Pilane and Ndaba Gaolathe faction which went on to form Alliance for Progressives (AP).
Political and Administrative Studies lecturer at University of Botswana (UB), Dr Adam Mfundisi said Modubule is a political giant in Botswana’s political space and veteran for opposition politics.
“Modubule is a former MP for Lobatse Constituency and during his tenure as the representative of the people he was the champion of his constituency as well as the broader populace. On the flip side, he has been a controversial figure in the opposition politics. At one time he stood as an independent MP making history by winning the constituency,” said UB politics don Dr Mfundisi.
Dr Mfundisi said since the BMD debacle which led to the formation of Alliance for Progressives, Modubule became a political novice wondering in wilderness after the once mighty BMD waned.
“I am convinced that the prodigal son of the BNF will be welcomed in the party. He needs the party as the latter also needs him. BNF is going through difficult times particularly in its strongholds in the southern part of the country. It has been dislodged from Ngwaketse, Kgatleng, and Gaborone constituencies during the most controversial 2019 general elections in the history of Botswana’s democracy. Modubule is a veteran of the BNF and opposition politics locally,” added Dr Mfundisi.
He said the BNF and by extension the UDC will openly welcome their prodigal son back to the trenches, adding that he is a politically tested person having been in the struggle for many decades.
“He will easily acclimatise in the opposition politics and play a leading role towards the 2024 general elections. The 2024 general elections is a critical poll because the previous elections were held in an atmosphere that was not conducive to a free, fair and a credible election. The UDC need Modubule and his BMD supporters within the UDC fold to guide against the electoral fraud and rigging in future elections,” said Mfundisi, adding that Modubule’s experience is crucial.
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