Fractured BMD prepares for watershed elections
Constituencies have expressed their interest to host troubled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) elective congress expected in July this year.
BMD Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi tod this publication that the National Executive Committee has requested constituencies to bid for hosting the congress. He said the NEC would now deliberate on the bids and decide which constituency should be granted permission to host the congress.Mmolotsi who is also Member of Parliament for Francistown South explained that the NEC would be scruitinising the bids and would be taking into consideration reasons expressed by the constituencies for wanting to host the congress.
Stakes are expected to be high at this elective congress as it comes at a time when the BMD leadership is divided. The current NEC has been divided since the last congress in Ghanzi and will be fighting for survival.
The NEC has been torn into two factions - that of President Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy Mmolotsi, while the other faction is led by party Chairman Nehemiah Modubule and Secretary General Gilbert Mangole. The factions have been at each other’s throats over the control of the party.
At the height of the conflict last year, the Gaolathe-Mmolotsi faction embarked on a nationwide tour to address party members on the status of the party, but the Modubule-Mangole faction felt this was unconstitutional. The meetings addressed called for a special congress to help restore the party.The bid for the special congress failed after the NEC rejected the letters written by constituencies calling for the special congress on the grounds that the letters did not satisfy requirements needed for a special congress.
Another thorny issue expected to be discussed at the July congress is that of the membership of BMD founding member Advocate Sidney Pilane. After he had dumped the party some years back, BMD President Gaolathe has questioned Pilane’s readmission into the party, saying procedure was not followed. This resulted in a heated exchange of letters between Gaolathe and Mangole over Pilane’s admission into the BMD. It is alleged that Pilane might challenge Gaolathe for the party presidency. The party will also review its Constitution with respect to the President’s powers.