BMD National Working Committee asks him to stop his country wide tours saying the tours divide the party further
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President Ndaba Gaolathe says he will not accede to the National Working Committee (NWC)’s call that he should stop his ongoing countrywide tour.
A leaked SMS conversation shows an exchange in which Gaolathe is dismissing BMD Chairperson Nehemiah Modubule who was informing him that the NWC had resolved that he immediately suspend his tours as they divide instead of uniting the party.
“Yielding to such a demand will amount to our neglect of duty to interact and account directly to our party members who themselves are inviting us around the country to do so,” Gaolathe explained, further stating, “It is time that you begin to trust, understand and respect the presidency for its sound judgment and interest at heart in the vision to liberate the people of Botswana,” he said.
Gaolathe warned the NWC against what he said was their tendency to exclude the head of mobilization in their meetings as it denied the party of his input,“Which input he has indicated is ready for presentation to the NEC around the issue of mobilization about which he is directly responsible. He has recommendations including those around the team that he proposes assist him,” he wrote.
Last week, the party’s Secretary General Gilbert Mangole told the media that the NWC had resolved to ask the president and his Vice President, Wynter Mmolotsi, to halt the tours to allow proper consulation with the National Executive Committee. He said they only learnt of the so called presidential tours through the media and social media. In the media briefing which was attended by Modubule, Policy Director Tlamelo Mmatli and Treasurer General Percy Bakwena expressed “regret” that the NEC was never informed of the tour.
Even though Gaolathe is empowered to embark on the tour, Mangole said his actions were contrary to articles 20.1(a),(c) and (e) in the BMD constitution which compel him to consult and agree with the NEC. “It is expected that such tours, when done as per constitution, should be done for the purpose of promoting unity and growth of the movement, but the current tour by the president and his vice seems to be promoting the contrary,” he said, maintaining, “ We learn that these tours are used to ridicule the NEC and even more regrettably to subject some members of NEC to abuse and insults.”
Reached for comment, Mmolotsi rubbished the NWC resolution saying, the committee has misdirected itself and worked outside its mandate as stipulated in the party Constitution. “The NEC met the previous Sunday and no resolution was taken that the NWC should stop the tours,” he stated, explaining that the mandate of the NWC was to carry out the decisions of the NEC. Mmolotsi said there was no way that both the NWC and NEC could stop the tours.“The members of the party gave the presidency a mandate to run the party and it is now for the Chairperson, Secretary General, Treasurer General and Policy Director to trust us in doing what is right for the BMD as assigned by the congress,” he said.
The role of the NWC as per the BMD constitution is to carry out decisions and instructions of the NEC, conduct current work of the movement and ensure that regions, branches, wards cells, leagues, the Elders’ Advisory Council and other structures carry out decisions of the movement.
Mmolotsi was however adamant that the presidency was in line with its responsibilities and said that time permitting, they will check regions and discussed whatever is needed about the party as and when its necessary. “I find it disturbing that the group can think of stopping their superiors in taking a responsibility assigned to them by the congress,” he said, arguing further that only the congress could stop the presidential tours.In defiance of the calls by the NWC, Gaolathe and Mmolotsi toured Maun over the weekend in what was described as a trip to update members on the problems besieging the party. Other regions visited by the presidency include the Southern Region, Molepolole, Gaborone and Selibe Phikwe. In all the regions they visited, members of the party advised that a Special Congress should be called, and if these calls are anything to go by, the members are expected write letters to the party office making an official request of such a congress.