BMD’s midnight coup

SHARE   |   Monday, 15 May 2017   |   By Phillimon Mmeso 
THINGS FALL APART; Modubule [L] and Gaolathe THINGS FALL APART; Modubule [L] and Gaolathe

Tensions that have been simmering at the top leadership of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) escalated on Thursday night when party leader and his deputy were allegedly suspended by National Executive Committee which is dominated by an opposing faction. The National Executive Committee of BMD led by chairman Nehemiah Modubule shocked many within the party and outside by slapping their party President Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy Wynter Mmolotsi with suspension from the party. The NEC also suspended former BMDYL President Phenyo Segokgo, Members of Parliament for Gaborone North and Gaborone Central Haskins Nkaingwa and Dr Phenyo Butale respectively. Party’s Organising Secretary Kabelo Mahupe and Women’s League President Joyce Mothudi were also put on the side lines. The suspensions, according to information gathered by this publication, are indefinite pending investigations. “They will not be able to stand for elections at the coming July congress in Bobonong as the investigations have not yet started,” said an inside source at BMD. They are accused of defying the party’s NEC not to attend the BMD Youth League Congress which was held in Ramotswa recently. According to the BMD Constitution, the party chairman will take over as the party president for the time being which means he will also occupy the seat of deputy President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). But in a dramatic turn Modubule has denied that the NEC has taken a decision to suspend party President and his deputy. “I don’t know where you get this information from because we didn’t suspend anybody on Thursday,” said the militant BMD chairman.

Putting to him that Vice President Mmolotsi has confirmed that he has been suspended on his social media page, Modubule said that he doesn’t know where he got that information as he was not part of the meeting. “We will release a statement on Monday on what transpired at the meeting for now anything is just speculation,” said Modubule. On his social media page, Mmolotsi said that they were not moved by the alleged suspensions. “Let me assure you that President Gaolathe and myself and all those who are alleged to have been suspended by cabal of spoilers, remain in their elected positions.  The group that met at the party office was there to push their well-known agenda of trying hard to destroy BMD,” hit out Mmolotsi on his page. He cautioned that no one will hold the BMD at ransom and mess it up. Ahead of the heated Thursday evening meeting, Modubule and Secretary General Gilbert Mangole are alleged to have met with some in UDC leadership and activists to discuss the case in which former BMDYL Secretary General had given the party 72 hours to dismiss the Ramotswa BMDYL Congress as unconstitutional. “It was at the meeting that Modubule informed the UDC leadership that they will be suspending Gaolathe and Mmolotsi for defying the decision of NEC,” said the source.