Leader of Botswana Movement for Democracy, Ndaba Gaolathe says he expects answers from the party Secretary General Gilbert Mangole and also the Chairman, Nehemiah Modubule.
Writing from Geneva, Switzerland where he was attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, Gaolathe says he has been disturbed by news that Mangole went into the public media to say the party has re-admitted Sidney Pilane back into the party.
The manner Mangole carried himself has been divisive, says Gaolathe.
He says under the circumstances the Pilane application to rejoin the BMD will now be decided by the party next Congress. The next BMD Congress is in 2017.
“This [what is in the newspapers] may well not be true, in which case you explain so and if true all the same you will have to explain upon my return, the basis for why members of the NEC presided over and participated in a denigration of the Constitution of our party,” writes a clearly livid Gaolathe.
He said the unconstitutionality, violation of procedure and the array of circumstances around this matter leave the NEC or the party with no choice but to place such a decision, if indeed it was taken, in abeyance and then referred to the Movement’s highest organ, the National Congress “for proper and fair resolution.”
Gaolathe says he is keen to learn from Mangole and Modubule why the decision to admit Pilane, if indeed such a decision was taken, was reached under divisive circumstances, including in the absence of BMD Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi who has been acting president as Gaolathe was away.
“I also look forward to your explanation, if newspaper reports are true how in the event such a decision was taken, why such a decision was communicated directly to the media before the acting president was informed, and that not being the case I was informed of the decision.”
Gaolathe says he is of the view that Mangole as Secretary General along with Chairman Modubule, knowingly or unknowingly have acted in ways that are divisive to the BMD.
He says such divisiveness also goes against the spirit of the larger Umbrella for Democratic Change of which BMD is a member.
“It is surprising if not disappointing that leaders of your positive reputation, dedication and experience would plunge our Movement into this kind of crisis without realizing the implications or magnitude of your actions.”
He says Mangole and Modubule’s actions have been “inappropriate and unfair” to the party and the masses.
“I expect that you will revise your conduct or the people will revise it for you,” says Gaolathe.
“You can be sure that I will not hesitate to exercise my duties decisively and I will do so fairly, dutifully and constructively. I am ready to face whatever the consequences….”
Gaolathe said he had for long avoided wading into the Pilane matter to avoid possible perceptions of conflict of interest.
“I had indicated to you in our previous NEC meetings, my reluctance to involve myself in this matter to preclude the idea that I may be conflicted about considering the application of a member with previous presidential ambitions. I did so by my faith in yourselves, as fair and responsible leaders on whom the future of our collective vision could be entrusted. Your actions and sense of judgment have discredited my faith in you.”
“While I am alive to the limitations of the powers our constitution vests in the president, I am also conscious of my role and responsibility to be a guarantor of fairness, unity, and the collective achievement of our grand vision to create Botswana one day where and when every citizen can become what they aspire to be if they applied themselves creatively and diligently.”
He said he expects Mangole to explain himself in detail.
“For now I will constrain my actions to the following; A) That you respond in writing to provide explanations asked of you, to myself, and verbally to our next joint meeting with myself, the Vice president and the Chairman.
B) “If the newspapers are an accurate reflection of what you communicated to them, then I am requesting you to retract and clarify your communication to them until NEC has re-convened to discuss this matter fairly and resolved in accordance with the constitution and in line with the need to forward the matter to the rightful owners of the organization at the Congress, at its next ordinary sitting, as per the fairest and natural manner to address such a matter.
“Indeed I trust that we will do the right things, ultimately, and not turn out to be a disappointment to the many ordinary citizens who have placed their trust in our Movement for the pursuit of our collective vision.”