Thursday, October 28, 2021

BCP joins race for Gaolathe’s scalp

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is likely to join hands with a Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) faction led by Sidney Pilane to neutralise Ndaba Gaolathe ÔÇô a DIS secret document has revealed.

The top-secret document dated July 20, 2017, which has been passed to the Sunday Standard, presents intelligence very recently acquired by the spy agency and provides the most detailed account of the cozy relationship between Pilane, Nehemiah Modubule, Gilbert Mangole and a section of the BCP.

The report is based on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information gathered during consultation between Rammidi and former BCP Youth League President Tumiso Chilliboy Rakgare. The report quotes Rakgare urging Rammidi to take “advantage of the BMD infightings to get at least two constituencies”.

The report further states that: “Rakgare indicated that since the Modubule/Mangole faction is not hostile towards the BCP, they would not allow Phenyo Butale, Sedirwa Kgoroba and Wynter Mmolotsi to contest for the constituencies they are currently holding and that they will also not have strong candidates to contest in those constituencies.” The assumption is that the BCP would then be allowed to field candidates in the three constituencies.

Although this is not contained in the report, it is believed that Rakgare is eying Kgoroba’s constituency and wants BCP president Dumelang Saleshando to take back Gaborone Central from Butale.

Butale who is the MP for Gaborone Central, Kgoroba for Mogoditshane and Mmolotsi for Francistown South are members of the Gaolathe camp.

The DIS report confirms that deep divisions cleaved by alliances formed during the hot blooded debates between the BMD under Gaolathe, Botswana National Front (BNF) under Duma Boko, BCP under Dumelang Saleshando and Botswana Peoples Party under Motlatsi Molapisi during debates on the form the coalition should take.

The umbrella talks threw up a number of contentious issues which polarised the negotiation table into two camps. On the one hand were BMD under Gaolathe, BPP under Molapisi and BOFEPUSU led by Johnson Motshwarakgole and, on the other hand, was BNF under Boko, BCP under Saleshando and a faction of the BMD led by Pilane.

During the negotiations, Pilane who was already plotting to oust Gaolathe as BMD president held a nocturnal meeting with Saleshando on the eve of the crucial meeting to decide the form and content of the new look UDC.

It was at this meeting where Pilane phoned and lobbied BMD’s Gilbert Mangole and Nehemiah Modubule, his two trusted lieutenants to back Saleshando’s bid for the UDC vice presidency.

An earlier meeting between Boko, Gaolathe, Saleshando and Molapisi had ended in a deadlock on the issue. At the meeting Molapisi and Gaolatlhe had argued that Gaolathe who is the leader of opposition had ceded the position of leader of opposition for Boko and it was unfair that he should also be expected to share the position of vice president with Saleshando.

Boko and Saleshando on the other hand, insisted that Gaolathe should share the vice presidency with Saleshando. With the vote deadlocked at two hands on each side, the meeting was postponed to another datewhere executive members of the contracting parties would be roped in to help break the deadlock.

Pilane’s faction which controlled the BMD National Executive Committee joined Boko and Saleshando to defeat Gaolathe. Indications are that the horse trading that attended the negotiation process has endured and Gaolathe now finds himself fending off a loose attack by the DIS, a section of the BCP and the Pilane, Modubule and Mangole faction of the BMD.

The DIS secret report revealed that BCP Secretary General, Kentse Rammidi “mentioned that he was pushing the Modubule/Mangole faction behind the scenes to go to court and interdict the Gaolathe/Mmolotsi faction from using the BMD name.

According to the report, Rammidi felt that without the BMD, Gaolathe would have to be dropped as UDC vice president. He said Gaolathe’s group should “pull out of the UDC on their own without being pushed and if they pull out there would be a rearrangement of constituencies. It emerges in the report that a section of the BCP hawks will also oppose Gaolathe’s appointment as VP in the event that his group forms a new party.

Rakgare did not deny the conversation with Rammidi, but would not comment on the contents of the report. He, however, indicated that he will be seeking legal advice on whether he can sue the DIS for listening in on his private conversation.

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