Constitution vs the People

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 19 July 2017   |   By Staff Writer
 Constitution vs the People

Hours before the start of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) congress on Saturday, Matshekge Hill School was transformed into a battlefield when some delegates were turned away at the gate because "they were not on the list", sources say. Even then, just hours before the start of the congress, it was still not clear how the programme looked like as the standoff between warring factions played out. The BMD congress in Bobonong over the President's holidays is a watershed moment for the youngest political party in the country, where the rivalry between warring factions will be put to an end. Formed in 2010 by mostly Barataphathi faction of the BDP, who were protesting President Ian khama's heavy handed style of leadership after he purged their leaders, the BMD faces their first real challenge as an independent organisation. Factionalism has torn the party into two. One faction is led by party president Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy Wynter Mmolotsi, who together with five others were expelled two weeks ago, while the other is led by chairman Nehemiah Modubule and Secretary General Gilbert Mangole. There was wide spread speculation during the week that the two factions will be sending parallel delegations to Bobonong where an all-out physical fight could break out.  Although some belief the fallout between the factions was caused by an application for re-admission by one of the founding members, Sidney Pilane, it has emerged that since the 2015 congress in Gantsi there has never been any working relationship in the elected central committee. For two years now the party has been on autopilot without any recognisable structure in place as the Modubule/ Mangole and Ndaba/ Mmolotsi factions pulled in different directions. Now the defining moment has arrived. 



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