The President of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy, Wynter Mmolotsi have been charged with nine counts each and are expected to appear before the National Disciplinary Committee of the BMD on the 11th June 2017 at the party office.
Gaolathe and Mmolotsi’s lengthy charge sheets carry the same offences while the other group, which was charged along the two leaders has separate and different charges. The charge sheets were presented by the BMD chairman, Nehemiah Modubule. In the first count, Gaolathe and Mmolotsi are accused of “committing conduct unbecoming that of a leader and public leader contrary to Article 37.8(c) of the BMD constitution. The charge emanates from the two’s attendance on 29th April 2017 of a “gathering which purpoted to be a national congress of the Youth League in Ramotswa…”
Count two faults Gaolathe and Mmolotsi of “committing conduct which brings the BMD into disrepute contrary to Article 37.8 (c) of the party constitution. The charge is a result of the two leaders attending and deliberating at the disputed Ramotswa Youth League congress. Gaolathe and Mmolotsi are also accused in count three of knowingly committing an act which is likely to provoke serious divisions and break-down of unity in the BMD contrary to Article 37.8(h) of the BMD constitution. They are faulted for participating and organizing the gathering of the Youth League Congress on 29th April 2017 against the decision of the National Executiove Committee of postponing the said congress.
According to count four, Gaolathe and Mmolotsi committed an act that undermines respect for the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee of the Youth League contrary to Article 37.8 (i) of the BMD constitution. The charge is also prompted by the meeting of the 29th April 2017 in Ramotswa which defied the decision of the NEC.
Gaolathe and Mmolotsi are further accused of participating in factional activity that goes beyond the recognized norms of free debate inside the organization and threatens its unity contrary to Article 37.8(j) of the BMD constitution. They are charged with this offence because participating at the Ramotswa gathering of the 29th April 2017.
Count six faults Gaolathe and Mmolotsi for prejudicing the repute of the BMD by acting on behalf of in collaboration with anti-democratic forces contrary to Article 37.8(o) (dd) (i) of the BMD constitution. They are accused of addressing a gathering purported to be a Youth League national congress in Ramotswa in defiance of the NEC decision.
Gaolathe and Mmolotsi are further charged, in count seven, with undermining the effectiveness of the National Working Committee of the BMD contrary to Article 37.8(o) (cc) of the BMD constitution. “On or about 21 May 2017, the Accused person participated in calling a meeting of members of the BMD to be held at Letlhabile Schoool in Gaborone notwithstanding that he had been suspended by the National Working Committee of the Movement.”
Furthermore Gaolathe and Mmolotsi are accused of creating divisions within the ranks and membership of the BMD contrary to Article 37.8 (o) (bb) of the party constitution. They are accused of participating in a meeting of members of the BMD held at Letlhabile School in Gaborone during which they verbally attacked some members of the NEC of the BMD. Gaolathe and Mmolotsi have stated that they do not recognize the suspensions and they continue to hold their positions and execute their duties. All the suspended persons have not responded to the request that they show cause order.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.