Connect with us

Pilane: Why I came back to BMD

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.

Continue Reading


Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

Continue Reading


Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

Continue Reading


Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




Continue Reading