Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) held their elective congress in Ghanzi over the president holidays after their sterling performance in the 2014 General Elections.
The contest for party positions is expected to be tightly contested especially for the Secretary General and National Chairperson positions. The incumbent Secretary General Gilbert Mangole will be facing a stiff competition from Mogoditshane Member of Parliament Sedirwa kgoroba.
Nehemiah Modubule who is the current national Chairman is going to have it tough against Gabane-Mmankgodi Member of Parliament Brigadier General Pius Mokgware. Two academicians Dr Phenyo Butale and Dr Tlamelo Mmatli will slug it for the position of Policy Director. Dr Mmatli is the incumbent.
The recent BMD Youth League elective congress held in Mochudi gave a glimpse that the real battle will be between Mangole and Kgoroba as the youth were divided between the two. The bad blood between the two was clear during and after the BMDYL congress as Kgoroba dismissed the elections as fraud while Mangole stated that they were well run though with some challenges. The political fight between the two founding members of BMD will be played out in Ghanzi as they want to be the chief scribe of their party.
In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Kgoroba said it is difficultto determine who is in the lead between him and Mangole as the campaign is too tight and dynamics change almost every day. He said that one of his missions if elected the Secretary General is to establish party structures in regions and branches and resuscitate those that are currently not operating.“Currently our structures do not exist and we cannot grow the party if lower structures are not there,” said the son of former Minister of Education George Kgoroba.
Kgoroba who was supporting Roger Mphafe at the BMDYL elections for presidency against the winner, Phenyo Segokgo, said that he wants to run the party secretariat impartially and be transparent. “If you look at the recent BMDYL congress elections there was lot of unfairness towards a certain team and this is what we don’t want within the party,” he said.
Lack of funding is a biggest concern for political parties especially oppositions ones and Kgoroba said he will mobilise fundraising activities to bolster party coffers.
There has been some concern from some BMD members that the current central committee is refusing to release a report on the death of their founding President Gomolemo Motswaledi and Kgoroba said that there a valid reason why it cannot be released now. “I am part of the team that is involved in the Motswaledi report and I know what is delaying its release so people should just be patient,” said Kgoroba.
The incumbent Secretary General Mangole believes he has a lot to offer to the BDM members if he can be given mandate by the congress on Monday. Mangole who took over from Wynter Mmolotsi ten months ago after the demise of their founding President Gomolemo Motswaledi said that he now wants to be given the mandate by the congress.
Like his challenger, Mangole says that his main objective if elected is to revive party structures which he said are in shambles. “Without structures especially at branch and regional levels the party cannot function so I will focus my energy on ensuring that they are up and running,” said the Kgatleng West Member of Parliament.
BMD has formed an alliance with Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) under Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Mangole said his role is to enhance the very important role that his party is playing in the alliance. “We need to maintain it and ensure that we go to 2019 General Elections intact and as the secretary general that will be one of my priorities,” said the confident Mangole.
Recently there were allegations that factions are starting to emerge at the BDP offshoot which threatened to divide the party and Mangole admitted that there are certain people within the party who are hell bent on introducing them. “We cannot allow our party to be riddled by factions because that is one of the reasons we left BDP and am going to root out those seedlings,” said the outspoken Kgatleng West legislator.
He rubbished claims that he is one of the factionalists within the party as evidenced by the recent BMDYL elections noting that he tried to bring sanity at the congress. “Most of the decisions I took favored those who complained that I did not favor them,” he said.
The congress will be held under the theme pursuing the ideals of President Gomolemo Motswaledi towards 2019. According to Mangole they are expecting over 500 delegates from 47 constituencies. He said that they have already appointed an electoral commission and all the materials needed for the elections are ready.