Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) regional chairpersons on Monday warned the nation to brace itself for a weekend of long knives as warring factions engage in gigantic battles that are set to reach a dramatic climax during the Bobonong elective congress.
Speaking at a press conference in Mogoditshane, the regional chairpersons from various constituencies across the country promised to kill or die for their President Ndaba Gaolathe should another faction led by Chairman Nehemiah Modubule attempt to block or preside over the congress in Bobonong.
The regional chairpersons admitted that as the preparations heats up, a lot was at stake in the upcoming BMD elective congress. They further admitted that there was need to protect the party and its President including those who were suspended alongside him.
Representing the Central District region, Brigadier Iphemele Kgokgothwane warned that they would not allow the dogs that are alleged to have been trained by Modubule as a form of security to stand on their way.
“The plan by these rebels is to destroy the BMD and ultimately the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). We can’t allow those rebels to do that. They will know that the party belongs to the masses and not them. If it is confrontation, let them bring it on,” he warned.
Kgokgothwane said that only those mandated by recognised structures from the regions would be allowed to participate in the elective congress.
“Enough is enough with these rebels. They have pulled so many stunts for a long time and had been kind to them. We are now saying enough is enough. We don’t think they are fit to preside over the congress. We will look for a neutral body to do that,” he said.
According to Kgokgothwane, the plot by Modubule, party secretary Mangole and BMD policy director Dr Mmatli is to deny the UDC a chance for a change of government in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
Kweneng region Chairperson Boipuso Dikgang shared Kgokgothwane’s sentiments describing Modubule and his team as rebels and not a BMD faction. Explaining that his region does not recognise the expulsion of Gaolathe and others from the party, Dikgang said they treat the expulsions as rumours because it was not communicated to any structure of the party across the country.
“The intention of these rebels is to ensure that they collapse the congress. Hence they have decided to have a parallel delegation in my region. After we had elected a delegation as per the Constitution, Mangole and Mmatli decided to come and have their own parallel delegation,” he said.
Dikgosi suggested that Modubule should be expelled from the BMD and retrace his steps to his former party called Puso. He also took a swipe at Moeng Pheto saying he was also instrumental in electing a parallel delegation in the Lentswelatau area.
BMD Francistown region, Jonathan Thembo also did not have kind words for the Modubule led faction. He said during a by election in Francistown following the death of a BMD councillor Shadrack Nyeku, they learnt that Moduble and Mangole were de-campaigning the party and inciting other to discredit Gaolathe.
BMD Chairperson for Palapye-Letswapo Moses Motladiele described the disciplinary committee that expelled Gaolathe, Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi and others as a bogus one. “We in Palapye-Letswapo region do not recognise such a bogus disciplinary committee. Modubule has a history of causing trouble even at his former party. But come what may, we will not allow that to happen in the BMD,” he warned. He said the Modubule led faction has demonstrated immaturity as it was unable to run the party secretariat and should resign.
“They are like a snake that needs force to be evacuated from a house and we need a man like Kgokgothwane to carry out that task,” he said pointing in the direction of Kgokgothwane. This received a standing ovation from BMD members who attended the event.
For his part, Gaborone Central legislator Phenyo Butale said it was high time that the masses reclaim their party from Modubule led faction.
“Modubule, Mangole and Mmatli should know that they will need more than dogs to stop this congress. The secretary has usurped the powers that the Constitution confers upon the region. He has done so by having parallel delegates,” said Butale.