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BMD expels Golathe, Mmolotsi and Co.

Publishing Date : 06 September, 2017


The chairman of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Nehemiah Modubule has confirmed that former party President Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy, Wynter Mmolotsi have been expelled from the party.

Among those slapped with expulsions is former party Youth League President Phenyo Segokgo, Women’s wing President Joyce Mothudi and Harriet Rampa. Kabelo Mahupe was the only one to survive the expulsion charge. He was only slapped with a reprimand.
The expulsions are the zenith of a spirited power-struggle between factions led by Gilbert Mangole and Nehemiah Modubule and Ndaba Gaolathe and Wynter Mmolotsi on the other hand.

Modubule told this publication that the BMD-six were found guilty on all charges they were facing after they did not pitch up for a disciplinary hearing session. Furthermore, he denied that the expulsions will fracture the party to a split because history is replete with the same scenarios. “Unfortunately I’m not a prophet. But it won’t break the party. If an individual is undisciplined you have to take action. It is not necessarily true that it will cause a split. It has happened before that BNF expelled its president even though there remained some imperfections with disgruntled members forming National Democratic Front (NDF).”

He further said that the best way to deal with indiscipline is to nip it in the bud for the benefit of the entire movement. ‘If you don’t deal with indiscipline it will grow. We cannot tolerate indiscipline.” He also said ill- discipline measures are clearly enshrined in the constitution and state that a member can be suspended, reprimanded, expelled or directed pay compensation. He also said that congress preparations are ongoing and that there is no way it will be postponed. “Congress is there. There is nothing to suggest otherwise.”

He however said that the suspended members will be barred to participate in party activities because of their status, opining that they will perhaps pin their hopes on the delegates to speak for them. Gaolathe and his sympathizers were suspended in May and barred from holding any party meeting. They had apparently been suspended for participating and holding a debarred youth league election in Ramotswa where youths allied to the Gaolathe group were swept into power.

At the time, Gaolathe and Mmolotsi rubbished the suspensions and proceeded to hold a debarred party meeting on the 21st of May. They had argued that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had no powers to suspend the leadership. The Modubule axis is in full control of the National Executive Committee (NEC) while the Gaolathe group has strong popular appeal among the party rank and file.

Modubule confirmed that the expelled group was served with letters on Tuesday. The next morning an unfazed Gaolathe gave a moving eulogy at the late Sir Ketumile Masire’s memorial service. The struggle for leadership in BMD has been ongoing for over two years now. The fracas reached a tipping point after the readmission of Advocate Sidney Pilane into the party. Pilane is one of the co-founders of the movement that was formed by disgruntled ruling party leadership in 2011.

Party activists rejected Pilane arguing that he harboured ambitions to challenge Gaolathe for party leadership and subsequently Duma Boko for the presidency of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). His opponents viewed Pilane as a possible a saboteur, pontificating that he had served as counsel for Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) boss Isaac Kgosi. Pilane had left the BMD fancying a judicial appointment as High Court judge after losing the election race for leadership to Gomolemo Motswaledi.

The shock expulsions come as BMD revs up for an elective congress in Bobonong on the first week of July. This means that Gaolathe and Mmolotsi who were billed to defend their positions will not stand and it is not yet clear who will contest for the positions of president and vice president.

Gaolathe told his sympathisers in Letlhabile to stay calm and vowed that come rain or shine he will be in Bobonong. Gaolathe had promised that the party’s congress in Bobonong this July holidays will go ahead as planned. “If they deny me entry then I will address you from outside. Ke tla gokela digoa-goe ke bo ke le buisa ke le ko ntle,” he vowed recently. At the same Letlhabile meeting he had even predicted that he they might be expelled the next day.



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