Thursday, October 28, 2021

BMD mulling possibility of outsider to oversee Congress elections

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) is mulling the possibility of roping in a third party to preside over its elective congress billed for Bobonong during the Presidential holidays.

This is one of the resolutions adopted by BMD regional chairpersons.

This is aimed at ensuring that there is fairness and transparency because the National Executive Committee (NEC) led by Chairman Nehemiah Modubule is accused of attempting to victimise and sideline expelled President Ndaba Gaolathe and his team at the elective congress.

The resolutions adopted by BMD regional chairpersons demand that a neutral and reputable body be appointed to preside over the congress and conduct free and fair elections.

“This is also in keeping with principles of natural justice where one cannot be referee and player at the same time,” reads the resolution paper.

The regional chairpersons are of the view that the camp led by Modubule was the complainant against Gaolathe and also sat in the disciplinary committee that expelled the President and other members.

The document states that in accordance with article 14.5 (c) which says the national congress has the “right to ratify alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent bodies, units or officials of the movement, except those of the national congress, including the evaluation of the performance of members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and other national committees,” all suspensions or expulsions be lifted pending an objective and unbiased determination by the congress.

This is in reference to a decision by the NEC led by Chairman Nehemiah Modubule to expel party President Ndaba Gaolathe and others.

The chairpersons also demand that all members of the BMD in good standing be allowed to attend the congress in Bobonong as observers if they are not delegates because failure to do so will be in contravention of article 6.1 (a) which states that “a member of the movement is entitled to take a full and active part in the discussion, formulation and implementation of the policy of the movement.”

The regional chairpersons say that failure to so will also be in contravention of article 6.1 (d) which states that “a member is entitled to take part in elections and be elected or appointed to any office, position, committee, structure, commission or delegation of the movement.”  

The regional chairpersons also suggested that nominations for the offices of the president, the deputy president, the national chairperson, the deputy national chairperson, the Secretary General, the deputy  Secretary General, the treasure general, the deputy treasure General shall, upon the presiding officer calling for nominations, be made from the floor of the congress by any delegate at the congress.  The presiding officer shall, in respect of each candidate nominated, call for aseconded.

“If the nomination should be seconded, the presiding officer shall invite the candidate nominated to indicate whether he or she accepts the nomination,” they said.

The documents further states the regional committee will supervise and direct the work of the movement and all its organs in the region and ensure that the branch and other structures of the movement in the region function democratically and effectively.

“To this end, the regional committee shall organize, establish and service branches in the region as regions here represented we take the strong view that the only delegates that are going to participate in the Bobonong congress are those authenticated by regional committees,” reads the document.   
It says the congress, which shall be conducted by the NEC and chaired by the national Chairperson, shall determine its own procedures in accordance with democratic principles. 

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