Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Vice President and MP Botsalo Ntuane has confirmed that yet another founding member Sidney Pilane has quit the party.
This week the party received a letter of resignation from Pilane accompanied by a P5000 donation.
“We are in receipt of Rre Pilane’s letter. We are saddened and regret his decision because although for personal reasons, he has been inactive since our congress in April 2011, ma- BMD still considered him a valuable founding member and leading intellectual light in the movement of the people,” Ntuane told the SundayStandard.
In a separate interview Pilane also disclosed he had officially parted ways with his former party.
“It was a painful decision for me…. It was not easy and I struggled through it,” said Pilane.
Pilane said that he has no intentions of joining any political including the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
“I am no longer in Politics. I wrote sometime ago that I had left active politics,” adding that he is in the process of issuing a statement to inform the public why he is walking away from politics. He said that there is no hostility and he wished the BMD well.
For Ntuane the journey must go on. The BMD’s deputy leader spoke highly of Pilane but admitted Ntuane his party was going through a terrible chapter in its 2nd year of existence.
“Rre Pilane is a man of honour and integrity and has been in the trenches with us since Feb 09 ahead of the Kanye congress. We remain forever indebted to him for his immense contribution. But we admit that our movement is experiencing a difficult and painful phase,” Ntuane said.
He said that such was the nature of politics and similarly other political parties in Botswana had at some point walked the same path.
“We derive small comfort from the fact that all established parties have been through trauma. The BDP split in 2009 from which they are yet to recover but they are still in power. The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) after 1994 suffered the trauma of coming down from 11 seats to 1. They persevered and now are alive with 5 seats and a political infrastructure,” argued Ntuane.
He stated that despite its historic split of 1998, the Botswana National Front (BNF) is still a formidable force within the opposition rank.
“The BNF suffered a tragic split in ’98 and the party is still here, and potent. The BMD too is going through a phase which is minor in comparison. We will survive it like all the other parties before us. We will stabilise. The worst will pass,” said Ntuane.
He also said that reports that BMD was nothing but a ‘sinking ship’ were pre mature and to some point wildly exaggerated. The BMD has so far lost MP Guma Moyo and a number of youthful activists who have retraced their steps back to the BDP. Another activist Kabo Morwaeng has vanished into thin air notwithstanding that he is the party’s chief mobilizer.
“Of course we are pained at losing our dear friends and comrades. But we still have 6 MPs, scores of councillors, with our partners lead the 2 biggest cities in Botswana…. and there are thousands of activists and supporters out there. We are alive,” he stated.