The trouble is just beginning. The huge part of the story will unfold from April 2018 when President Ian Khama would have left office. The formation of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was premised on the differences of the Khama leadership within the ruling BDP. The huge problem is that beyond Khama leadership there would be nothing inspiring anyone to hold on to the membership of the BMD. The BMD, having been founded on anger, is finding itself having difficulties to justify its existence. Anger, like all emotions, is a temporary thing. The anger was specifically a reaction of how the late Gomolemo Motswaledi was treated after the BDP Kanye congress. Those who joined BMD after its formation were in solidarity with Motswaledi. No one can claim or pretend to have been fighting for anything except to have been in solidarity with Motswaledi. This thus is becoming increasingly clear that the current contest of authority is a result of having had not thought out life after Motswaledi. With Motswaledi having ascended to a place defined by God, and with no authority figure, or rather, an icon of the justification of existence of the BMD, it is becoming increasingly clear that the purpose of the BMD in Botswana politics has vanished. The BMD needs to restructure its ideology and gain new relevance. That can only be defined by a robust and revolutionary policy focus beyond sloganeering. It is safe to point out that Gomolemo Motswaledi was a BMD god. It is also safe to point out that his personality was greater than then thought. His personality held the BMD together. The constitution of the BMD, which Motswaledi crafted cannot be said to be the problem. The problem is the personality of Ndaba Gaolathe. Indeed, he is honest to be defining himself as a herd boy, that is what he can do best and probably master. He can lead domesticated animals, not a political organisation. He is simply not crafted for this difficult terrain. He is too meek, too soft, too advisory and not worthy of leadership from the front. He has not been designed, or created to lead from the front. He has been designed and crafted to research and advice leaders. We all like, his softness and politeness, but these traits are also denying him an opportunity to be assertive, bold, courageous and to be an inspiration.
With the BMD having entered the current impasse that it finds itself in, Gaolathe is totally irrelevant. He is not even a unifier, he is a bad reactor; he must be hidden in the back office and advise from there. The BMD needs a strong and charismatic leader. It needs someone who is sure of where the organisation should go. That person is not Gaolathe. In finding new relevance and restructuring its ideology to be able to survive the political landscape beyond the Khama enigmatic spirit, the BMD has to appreciate that anger is no more external; it is within. The BMD, which was founded to retaliate and show Khama that there is politics without him, has to now find space in the Botswana politics. The BMD had concentrated all its energies and efforts to point a figure at Khama, and to find blame, and to apportion blame to Khama, and to literally fight Khama. Now that the Khama enigmatic spirit is leaving the Botswana political landscape, and the BMD knows nothing else but to fight, it must first fight itself whilst looking for the next target after Khama. There is nothing wrong with this set up. There is absolutely, everything wrong with Ndaba Gaolathe being at the forefront of an organisation realigning its energies, focus and purpose. He is just not the right man. It is also safe to assume that, he has failed the BMD. It has always been said that those who left the BDP to form the BMD never really had a problem with the BDP but had a problem with Khama the person. This is a discussion that we all are bound to go back to. For it poses the simple scenario that; if you had a problem with Khama and not the BDP, and that now Khama is exiting the stage, then you can safely go back to the BDP. This scenario can only be hampered with realigning policy of the BMD to make it relevant and revolutionary. This cannot be possible with Gaolathe at the helm.
The BDP’s chairman, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has made it clear that his primary role within the BDP and not the Government is to lure back multitudes of the BMD back to the BDP. This we must concede is scaring intention. We must also concede that this is his most opportune moment. By defying the National Executive Committee of the BMD, Ndaba Gaolathe has given Masisi massive ammunition. It is wrong timing for Gaolathe to have decided to act in a manner that has strengthened instability of the BMD. He erred. Or possibly, he has not erred but has acted within the confines of his limited capacity to lead a mass organisation. Ndaba Gaolathe is the problem. We all belong to some organisations, be it church, football team or political party. We all come across points where we differ with decisions made by leadership, where we have alternative views that we feel should have been the position or decision of the leadership. But we simply give up and appreciate that the leadership has spoken. We don’t go out to defy such. We respect the processes and in particular the rules and regulations. We above all, respect and uphold the constitution as a guiding and supreme document that is the foundation of each institution. Gaolathe has failed to uphold and respect the constitution of the BMD. Whether the decision by the National Executive Committee of the BMD to postpone the youth league was unjust is not a point of discussion. The National Executive Committee was acting on powers vested on it by the constitution, and for Ndaba Gaolathe to defy that was a justification that he is indeed a political factory fault.
Simon Gabathuse is available at:
Facebook: Simon Gabathuse