An exclusive interview with Gilbert Mangole
The BMD Secretary General says allegations that he destabilizes the party are spread by bitter losers from the Gantsi congress who vowed to frustrate the current NEC
“No one can expel me from the BMD ” – Mangole
In an exclusive one-on-one with the Gazette, the seemingly rouge Gilbert Mangole, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Secretary General has been accused of destabilizing the party but he asserts that he will not be silenced by the same attitude that he left the Botswana Democratic Party for.
He says the counterproductive sentiment that the president should not be challenged is the reason why some of the party members tend to resent him. He said contrary to allegations spread by the anti-Pilane camp, that Advocate Sidney Pilane joined the BMD to destabilize because of his links to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), fact of the matter is that the camp is fearful that Pilane will eventually challenge president Ndaba Gaolatlhe for the presidency.
“One of the issues that agitated us to leave the BDP to form the BMD was after party chairmanship was reserved for a certain individual and that no one should challenge that particular person. We left because we believed that the setup was unacceptable in a democracy and thus any one who so wishes to contest for the chairmanship had the right to do so,” he explained.
Furthermore, he said he left the BDP because he did not condone a situation where a congress would be called , executive committee elected and then a party leader taking a decision not to support the elected because it would not be who he anticipated to win.” This is exactly the same situation we find ourselves in at the BMD. The leader has taken a decision to surround himself with the group that lost at last year’s congress and vowed to frustrate the elected. What is the difference between that and what President Khama did at the BDP?” he asked rhetorically, “ I do not support Pilane, I support a principle.”
Responding to allegation of destabilizing the party, he responded “ Those who say I cause chaos in the party, clearly do not understand the workings of the BMD constitution and I realize unfortunately a lot of BMD members, including those in leadership are clueless about the constitution of the BMD,” Mangole explained. According to him, he is simply performing his duties as the party SG per the Constitution.
According to Mangole, people who cast aspersion towards him are those who lost the positions they contested for supported candidates at the party’s National Congress that was held in Gantsi last year July. “ Instead of accepting defeat and acting like democracy, they vowed publicly that they will not accept the current NEC and will thus make it a point to frustrate it in executing it mandate. And this is what they are doing today,” he maintained, adding, “ it is Gantsi bitter losers who have retained their bitterness and Facebook politicians who have no idea what is happening on the ground and have lost touch with reality with the functions of BMD membership who are busy attacking me.”
“I am not a politician by chance, mistake or a sympathy vote from some event that took place; and I understand fully what this fracas is all about ” the agitated Mangole said.
On calls for the party to expel him, Mangole said he was unshaken by such calls, because no one other than a congress can fire him from the party. The SG said he was confident that should a congress be convened any time, he will overwhelmingly retain his position.