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Pilane: Why I came back to BMD

Publishing Date : 15 August, 2017


While the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD)’s Ndaba Gaolathe’s faction criticised Advocate Sydney Pilane for ditching the party at the time of need, the latter insists it was for the good of the party.

The Ndaba Gaolathe faction says he left the BMD a frustrated man after losing to the late Gomolemo Motswaledi for the party’s presidency. But the prodigal son would later come to claim the presidency under Modubule/Mangole faction and he confirms that a P100.000 debt and the VAT that he accumulated for financing BMD was the main reason of him leaving active politics.

Speaking at the just ended Bobonong Congress which saw the two warring camps hold separate congresses, Advocate Pilane said that he took a conscious decision to quit active politics to find work so that he could make money and clear the debts lest he found himself in the wrong side of the law. Pilane’s name is touted as the financier of the movement since from its formation. His followers argue that the critics who say he ditched the party when he was need most holds no water as he (Pilane) continued to support the party financially even after leaving BMD.    

Pilane stated that when they started BMD, all National Executive Committee (NEC) members respected the constitution of the party, saying one of the reasons he left BMD is that NEC members started amending the constitution without following the relevant procedures to effect change on the constitution. “People started having side agendas and that is when I felt things are no longer the same,” he said.He said that after leaving the party, Motswaledi pleaded with him to come back to the party and promised him the position of spokesperson but declined, advising him instead to appoint other capable members of the party to take up the role.

On why he came back to BMD

“I came back to the BMD mainly to come and help facilitate mediation talks between UDC and the BCP so that BCP becomes part of the umbrella,” he said. He said that when he felt that he can be of any value to the unity of the opposition parties, he reapplied for membership at Gaborone and his membership was approved and granted. He fingers Wynter Mmolotsi as the having control over Ndaba Gaolathe, pointing out that his membership was recalled and nullified after Mmolotsi told the Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa and BMD President, Ndaba Gaolathe that he (Pilane) was after two things, Nkaigwa’s constituency and the BMD presidency.

He said after Mmolotsi’s advice to the two MPs, Gaolathe wrote a letter nullifying his membership. “I do not know if he did not have the confidence to contest for the position with me,” he asked rhetorically. After he was denied membership in Gaborone North, Pilane said that he then decided to try his luck elsewhere and was accepted and granted membership in Mochudi in Gilbert Mangole’s branch, a development that lead to him being accused of membership shopping. Mangole is a ring leader alongside Nehemiah Modubule who fights in Pilane’s corner.

While supporters of the Gaolathe/Mmolotsi faction advance that Pilane’s sole reason for coming back to into BMD was to contest for the party presidency against all odds, Pilane asks if the BMD presidency is a reserved position for certain people. His supporters rubbish claims that their leader’s membership is a contentious issue, arguing that if indeed Pilane’s membership was such an eye sore, why Gaolathe as president allowed him to lead the BMD Taskforce Team. To Gaolathe’s rescue, his followers say that whatever Ndaba did not agree to was defeated by the majority in the NEC. Pilane’s enthusiasts on the other hand argue that the NEC is the decision making body and therefore what was defeated or agreed by the NEC stands.



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