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BMD factions consulting lawyers

Publishing Date : 22 May, 2017


The bipolar factions stretching the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) are prepared to take the fight for the soul of the party to the courts of law, WeekendPost has learned.

This publication has been informed that party leader Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy Wynter Mmolotsi consulted attorney Mboki Chilisa on their rights about two weeks ago following an alleged assault at the party office. Prominent party man, Rtd Brigadier General Iphemele Kgokgothwane allegedly assaulted members of the other faction, Nehemiah Modubule and Gilbert Mangole. The Modubule/Mangole faction is understood to be close to Advocate Sidney Pilane who is believed to be their brains and monetary brawn.

Mmolotsi, who characterised Modubule and Mangole as ‘dissidents’ told this publication that if the other side ups the ante and takes the fight to courts, it will well be within their rights. He however noted that they always seek legal opinion. He also furthered that they do not find it necessary to seek courtroom recourse because the current Jacob Kelebeng-led Youth League was voted constitutionally. “We always seek legal opinion. If they go there its fine but we wouldn’t find it necessary because the Youth League is constitutional. It’s done,”Mmolotsi stated.

To buttress his point, he highlighted that the two year mandate of the Phenyo Segokgo-led Youth League has since expired and no one can therefore claim legitimacy except the Kelebeng Youth League. The Gaolathe/Mmolotsi faction defied efforts by the Modubule/Mangole faction to postpone the elections and went ahead with the congress over the weekend. However, the other faction has insisted that the gathering was unconstitutional. Mmolotsi further stated that the Modubule and Mangole team chickened out of the race because they had not cultivated support and were facing an imminent routing.

“The same people who called a congress in Ramotswa chickened out because they hadn’t worked. There is a new committee.” Mangole however was cagey on allegations that his camp has sought legal advice stating that such a move is determined by prevailing circumstances. He however said that they intend to take action and in that case that is when they can seek legal advice. “If anyone feels they can sue its fine. Of course we can seek legal advice but it doesn’t mean anything. It depends on the situation. We intend to take action and in that case we will seek legal advice.”

He also stated that the Saturday National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting will decide the way forward. He further said that the expiration of a mandate does not mean that decisions can be taken willy-nilly, but instead due constitutional process must be taken.
He also noted that it is not cast in stone that if a mandate has ended there cannot be remedial constitutional action. “It’s norm everywhere,” he said. The rift between BMD factions is getting wider by the day. Both factions are equally strong and determined to hang on to power, a prospect that will not make the de-escalation of the conflict no walk in the park.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the BMD constitution has devolved powers from the president to the National Executive Committee (NEC). Last year, BMD factions smoked a momentary peace pipe and reconciled to close ranks to repel Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s incursions in the party. At the time, this publication quoted Mangole referring to Mmolotsi as “my VP” at a party press briefing detailing Masisi’s modus operandi in his recruitment drive.



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