Monday, August 8, 2022

Mmolotsi says Pilane should contest for any BMD leadership position

The outspoken Member of Parliament for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi, has said Sydney Pilane should contest for any position he so chooses in the upcoming leadership elections for Botswana Movement for Democracy.

As part of attempts to avert potential rifts and schisms inside the new party there have recently been behind the scenes efforts to dissuade Pilane from taking on Gomolemo Motswaledi for position of BMD President.

The elective Congress is scheduled for March.

Speaking to Sunday Standard, Mmolotsi, who is Motswaledi’s longtime political ally, said it is against the principles that BMD stands for that certain positions are reserved for certain individuals.

“When we left BDP we thought the party was undemocratic. Ian Khama was clear he did not want certain people in certain positions. We should not now fall for the same trap. In BMD everybody should be encouraged to stand. This does not only apply to Motswaledi and Pilane. Everybody should be free to contest for any position,” Mmolotsi said.

Mmolotsi said while he has made a decision not to stand for any central committee position, “people should not think I am against Pilane or Motswaledi if in the course of time I decide to stand against anyone of them”.

He said, in fact, the culture of sacred cows was among the chief reasons why BMD was formed when many disenchanted former Botswana Democratic Party members could no longer live with the practice.
Pilane is known to have told close associates that he feels strongly that there are clandestine efforts going on inside the BMD to create Motswaledi into a personality cult.

To stop that, Pilane has not ruled challenging Motswaledi.

“Pilane knows very well that he would lose against Motswaledi, but given his passion for the party he has never stopped talking about the dangers of creating an impression that Motswaledi was bigger than the organization. For all it is worth, he is likely to challenge Motswaledi. In fact, while he has nothing against Motswaledi, he is deeply disturbed by [Botsalo] Ntuane’s concerted attempts to prop up Motswaledi ahead of everybody else,” said a source close to BMD.

Ntuane, is who is currently the Leader of Opposition in parliament, has tended to hoist his own political future as well as that of BMD on Motswaledi becoming the substantive BMD leader.
In fact, many think Ntuane considers himself holding the fort for Motswaledi as Leader of Opposition, another insinuation that fills Pilane with disdain.

Motswaledi is the interim BMD Chairman while Pilane is the Spokesperson.

Answering a question on whether the elevation of Ponatshego Kedikilwe as acting Vice President is not likely to steal the thunder off the buoyant BMD, Mmolotsi said they congratulated Kedikilwe but will treat him like any other BDP member that he is.

“PHK Kedikilwe is BDP and we are BMD. His becoming Vice President will not affect our programme in anyway. In fact, if you recall, since the Ghanzi congress PHK has been very detached. To his credit he has operated more like a civil servant than a politician and for that we are less likely to cross paths with him because we remain politicians.”

Ironically, Mmolotsi, who has had long running skirmishes with substantive Vice President Mompati Merafhe is on record saying that his preferred choice of Vice President has always been Kedikilwe who, together with Daniel Kwelagobe, is regarded as a spiritual political godfather for many of the young turks that control BMD.


Read this week's paper