The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Deputy Secretary General and Member of Parliament for Kgatleng West, Gilbert Mangole, has dismissed speculation that there is a large group of BMD youth members who defected to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) last week.
Addressing members of the media on Thursday, MP Mangole said there are only three members who quit BMD last week.
He said these to be the former interim chairman, Armstrong Dikgafela, interim Secretary General Roseline Panzirah, and spokesperson Ruth Kedikilwe.
Mangole said the three that left the party were never elected by anybody to be in the committee and added that they were serving on a voluntary basis as interim members. He stated that, in order for one to be National Executive Committee (NEC) or youth league, they have to be voted at the congress. According to Mangole, BMDYL has had 18 interim members, while only six of them have been active.
“It is anyone’s inherent choice to move wherever they want in a democratic setup,” he said.
Mangole said that the recent policy forum which was held in Ramotswa has also approved the youth constitution which will lead the upcoming youth congress in Selibe Phikwe end of April this year.
He further revealed that there have been many youth league conflicts which the leadership has been nursing for a long time, adding that the fights have been escalating.
Mangole said they cannot block anyone from going where they want to go and added that they will never go publicly discrediting the departed and ex-members.
“It is the nature of the struggle that some will fall along the way, some going slowly, and some assisting the enemies while others are joining us,” said Mangole.
He said there are people who want to destroy BMD by all means, particularly big business gurus whom he said have approached BMD councilors and members to defect to BDP. He gave the example of one Francistown councilor who was promised large shareholding in one of the chain stores in the country and also to be given Mayoral ship of Francistown.
Mangole said certain political parties are working day and night to recruit members from the BMD.
“We have set up as opposition party a communications unit, particularly for press which will be led by Moeti Mohwasa, Merapelo Letebele and Gumbulani William. This unit will be the spokesperson to the opposition on cooperation talks. Over and above that, Rhoda Sekgororoane and Moses Ntwaagae are the leaders of the task team of the upcoming youth congress of which they will identify others to work with, including six activists from the youth ranks,” he explained.