Attempts by the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) to rail track the appointment of its National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal (NDCA) ahead of the Congress this week hit a snag as one of the party activists turned down the offer saying his appointment went against the constitution of the party.
Oarabile Tshenyego says he wants to be no part of it as he views it as ploy to legitimise expulsions that have no substance in the procedures of the BMD.
Tshenyego, who is also a Member of BMD National Executive Committee (NEC), has through his lawyers, Ndadi Law Firm rejected an invitation by party Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole to attend the party’s Disciplinary Appeal Committee that among other things is expected to hear cases of expulsion involving BMD leader Ndaba Gaolathe and his deputy, Wynter Mmolotsi.
Tshenyego is of the view that the Disciplinary Appeal Committee was not properly set up.
As a result he will not be joining it.
He says no rules of engagement have been agreed. And according to him that amounts to not taking the process seriously.
“In fact only when the NDCA is ready to listen to the appeals, the NDCA will issue notices of the dates of the appeal hearings to all affected parties. The NEC should have no administrative role to play in it as NDCA must be autonomous and must also be seen to be autonomous.”
According to Tshenyego, the Appeal Committee was created not by NEC but by the National Working Committee (NWC).
“The NWC has no such powers and would have acted ultra vires the Constitution.”
Tshenyego says notwithstanding the fact that his appointment is flawed, he also believes that as a member of the NEC such an appointment would compromise him in his position and powers as NEC member as it would mean that he be excluded to sit in a matter concerning the appeals as a member of the committee.
More importantly, he reiterates that the BMD NEC, of which has never met to discuss setting up the appeals committee.
“Had client been consulted, assuming that the NEC met to appoint him, he instructs us that he would have declined the appointment to serve at the NDCA,” says a letter from Ndadi Law Firm on behalf of Tshenyego.
He says even though he is a member of NEC, at no time has he been invited to sit in an NEC meeting that was going to appoint the NDCA.
“To client’s knowledge, there has never been any meeting convened by the NEC to discuss the issue of appointing such members. The client therefore deems his appointment as unconstitutional as it offends the Movement’s Constitution.”