Thursday, October 22, 2020

BMD executive committee shoot down Special Congress

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) extra-ordinary congress due to have started sometime soon will not go ahead as planned, The Telegraph learnt Monday. 

In an interview, BMD Chairperson Nehemiah Modubule said due process was not followed by the 19 branches which had written to the National Executive (NEC) calling for the extra-ordinary congress to be convened. 

Modubule explained that at a meeting that was held at the weekend NEC found that the 19 branches did not follow the requirements that should be followed as per the BMD Constitution. 

Modubule said at the meeting held this past week it was unanimously agreed that NEC instructs the Secretary General Gilbert Mangole to write to the 19 branches to inform them that they should satisfy the requirements of the Constitution in order for an extra-ordinary congress to be convened. 

He further explained that Section 29 of the BMD Constitution provides that the branches must be the one that decides whether the congress should be held not the NEC.

Modubule said some of the shortcomings that they discovered is that there were no recorded minutes of meetings by the braches and no indications that meetings were convened. 

In addition, the branches also did not state reasons why they want the extra-ordinary congress convened, as required by the Constitution. 

Modubule said another requirement is that there must be a ward congress; then six delegates should be selected to participate at the branch congress. 

He said the branch congresses will be the ones to decide whether there is need to convene the extra-ordinary congress; after satisfying itself that the letters from the branches meet the requirements, NEC has to write to 57 constituencies informing them that extra-ordinary congress be convened. 

“After the branch congress has been held, they will decide whether to write to NEC requesting that an extra-ordinary congress should be convened. In their letter they must also state reasons why they want an extra-ordinary congress to be convened,” he said.

Modubule added that “after assessing their letters that is when we as NEC can decide whether an extra ordinary congress can be convened, for now we cannot because that would be in breach of the party constitution as a number of requirements have not been met and we cannot allow that to happen,” he said. 

He said the notice in the form of letters to 57 constituencies across the country about the scheduled extra-ordinary congress should be issued not less than a month. 

“So as you can see it is a long process and this mean that the congress cannot not be convened in August or September; there is a lot of work to be done because even after braches have met the requirements, NEC has to do other preparations like setting dates,” he said. 

The decision by NEC does not come as a surprise.

The NEC is under a welter of control from a faction of the BMD that does not want a special congress.

Modubule rubbished claims that BMD President Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy Wynter Mmolotsi had confessed at the weekend meeting that the letters from the 19 branches were not authentic.  

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