Will high court settle BMD wars?

SHARE   |   Monday, 13 June 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Modubule Modubule

Politically troubled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) could head to court should the party President Ndaba Gaolathe’s intention to call a special congress materialise. Highly placed sources within the party have revealed that the Modubule/Mangole faction are following the countrywide tours by Gaolathe and his deputy Wynter Mmolotsi with keen interest as they believe they are unconstitutional. Though most of the regions that have been visited have agreed on the special congress, MM faction is adamant that Gaolathe and Mmolotsi have no authority to seek mandate from the members without the consent of the National Executive Committee (NEC). According to the BMD constitution section 20.1 the president of the movement shall in all matters, be subject to the authority of the NEC, who may overrule him on matters of The Movement.

The MM is said to be adamant that Gaolathe and Mmolotsi didn’t get authority to address the regions. The constitution states that regions are supposed to write to the Secretary General who will then after consulting the NEC calls for the special congress. “We expect the Secretary General Mangole to reject the letters from the regions for the special congress on the basis that they were not constitutionally addressed,” revealed the source. In the event that the NM faction goes ahead with the congress, the MM faction is expected to file an urgent court application to block it. On the other NM is convinced that the relationship between them and other members of the NEC is irreparable broken, hence the call for the special congress. Recently when addressing members of the Gaborone region, Party President Gaolathe has revealed that the current NEC is a joke and cannot work with them. Most of the BMD members have called for the amendment of their constitution to empower the President whose position is currently ceremonial as he has to take mandate from the NEC. The constitution was copied from that of South African ruling party African National Congress (ANC).

The fear among the MM faction, according to those close to the camp, is that should special congress be called they might lose elections. Party National Chairperson Nehemiah Modubule said that they are not aware of the planned special congress as the NEC has never been informed about it. The countrywide meetings that people are talking about are just a social gathering of friends which does not have anything to do with the party,” said the former Member of Parliament for Lobatse, adding that structures are not consulted on the meetings. He said that they believe that there is still a time for reconciliation but they are disappointed by the other camp which has publicly declared that they want reconciliation but elections. Efforts to get comment from Mmolotsi hit a snag as he did not pick his phone. Since the Gantsi elective congress BMD has never enjoyed peace due to the infighting by the party leadership which is threatening to split it.