The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) is headed for a show down as warring factions tussle for the control of the party. A partner in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the BMD has not seen peace ever since one of its founding members, Advocate Sidney Pilane re-applied to join the party.
The party is divided into two camps, one marshalled by the President, Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy, Wynter Mmolotsi; and the other by chairman Nehemiah Modubule and secretary general Gilbert Mangole.
While Gaolathe has not said much about the conflict, his right hand man, Mmolotsi is not hiding his frustrations, and he is seriously pushing for a special congress to give the party new direction.
While the Modubule’s group is not averse to the special congress, they argue that due process must be followed when calling a special congress. “We are surprised that some in the leadership are now going around the country lobbying constituencies to demand a special congress,” said Modubule.
He said he is aware that the President and his Vice are on a tour to urge members to call a special congress. “I attended one of the meetings where people were told to write and demand a special congress,” he said.
According to Modubule, the problem is that no one has attempted to explain why the need for a special congress. The BMD constitution is very liberal; it has removed a lot of powers from the president and directed it to the National Executive committee.
The BMD NEC is made up of 29 members. A third of the 57 constituencies may write to demand a special congress, which means the party needs only 19 constituencies to push for a special congress.
The NEC however, will receive the calls and decide on the date of the special congress. Currently, Weekend Post learns that the 29 member bloc is divided on the possible date of the special congress, with the Mmolotsi-Ndaba led group comfortable with September while the Mangole-Modubule axis wants a date in July.
Some members of the BMD are very clear on their demands; they want Modubule and company expelled from the party. Reports indicate that this could be one of the agenda items at the proposed special congress, further there is emphasis from those harbouring the anti-Pilane sentiment that his membership application must be rejected outright by the congress.
The Mmolotsi-Ndaba axis also wants the special congress to decide on who should represent the BMD at the negotiations with other partners of the UDC. Currently Pilane is included in the team of negotiators and Ndaba Gaolathe is very clear – he wants Pilane removed from the team.
Meanwhile there are those who fear that these campaigns may lack the necessary support if there is no sufficient time to mobilise members on the ground and could end up backfiring against Mmolotsi and Gaolathe.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.