The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has noted with astonishment a recent press release issued by the BCP and the AP. The press release suggests that there are Talks that are currently ongoing outside the Opposition Negotiations Forum. The Talks, the statement alleges, are as a result of a meeting where it was resolved that some of our affiliate parties submit their position papers on cooperation and names of 3 negotiators.
It goes on to say that the AP and the BCP, an affiliate of UDC, have already submitted theirs.For avoidance of confusion and contrary to what is being peddled, the BNF and the BPP, as disciplined affiliates of the UDC, have never made an undertaking to submit any documents to some amorphous structure. There are no parallel Talks to what the nation already knows. The only structure through which the UDC engages with the AP and BPF is the Opposition Cooperation Forum where all the 3 parties are represented by 3 negotiators. Its creation was part of the outcomes of the Woodpecker inaugural opposition parties’ (AP, BPF and UDC) meeting in 2020.
The Opposition Cooperation Forum produced the Bye Elections MOU and our understanding is that it is still working towards delivering a working arrangement for the 2024 general elections and beyond. In terms of the UDC long standing resolution which was reiterated at our last NEC meeting in Palapye, our affiliates shall submit their positions to the NEC. It is on the basis of those submissions that the UDC will come up with a position paper which will be shared by our negotiators with AP and BPF at the Opposition Cooperation Forum.
The UDC affiliates negotiate as a block as agreed to by all of them. Any affiliate that engages in negotiations with other parties outside the UDC will be undermining that agreement which is consistent with the spirit and letter of the UDC constitution. Clause 8.3 states that once a group member, an organisation shall not individually enter into any agreement with any political party which is not a member of the Umbrella. Any agreement involving a group member and any such party shall be a collective matter, negotiated and executed exclusively by the Umbrella.
The subsequent Clause, 8.4, wraps it up by saying that the structures, authority and powers of member group of the Umbrella shall be subordinate to the power and authority of the Umbrella. As the UDC, we would like to assure the nation that we remain committed to the mandate of bringing together willing forces to effect regime change. It is our hope that we will all avoid a repeat of our past mistakes and present a strong opposition that will transform our people’s lives. Acting collectively in a responsible manner we can.