The new Botswana Movement Democracy (BMD) National Executive Committee (NEC) was elected over the weekend and Gomolemo Motswaledi was elected to the position of President.
Advocate Sidney Pilane, who lost to Motswaledi, confirmed that he financially assisted about five constituencies in Serowe and Boteti with bus fare for delegates travelling to the congress. He denied speculations that he was buying delegates for votes.
“The money came from me and it was for the benefit of the party and I have helped before and I accept the results,” said Pilane.
He stated that it is how the elections process works and he did not query anything. He said he will continue to work for the party as it is not the end of the journey.
Motswaledi emerged the winner against Pilane.
Seven hundred and thirty-two (732) delegates were registered by the Democracy Research Project (DRP) of the University of Botswana, who conducted the elections, with representatives from the trade union movement BOFEPUSO observing.
Professor David Sebudubudu led the DRP.
Only 584 ended up voting.
Motswaledi got 454 votes while Pilane got 125 votes. Statistics indicate that eighty percent of delegates voted while 5 ballot papers got spoilt.
Other National Executive Committee (NEC) positions include Vice President, (Botsalo Ntuane), who was unopposed as well as the Chairman (MP Nehemiah Modubule).
Both Secretary General nominee (Winter Mmolotsi) and deputy Secretary (Gilbert Mangole) were also unopposed.
In the treasury positions, MP Guma Moyo officially declared that he is not standing for any position during elections. He, however, stated that he is ready to assist the incoming treasurer (Odirile Motlhale) with his deputy (Binkie Kerileng) who were also unopposed.
Kabo Morwaeng and Ndaba Gaolatlhe were also unopposed and were elected to positions of National Mobilizing committee and Policy Director, respectively.
Motswaledi stated that it was a good move for anyone to challenge for the presidency, unlike other unopposed NEC positions. He said he is happy that everything went well during elections.
“No de-campaigning of other members took place as everyone was selling himself and herself,” said Motswaledi.
He stated that in the history of opposition parties in Botswana, no political party has ever gone to congress with 50 constituencies out of 57.
“BMD is only 10 months old and we would have loved to see all the positions being contested for,” said Motswaledi.
The first BMD Central Committee meeting after the inaugural congress is being scheduled for next week to discuss housekeeping.
The NEC is also expected to nominate five additional members for a complement of 29 members of NEC.
A few of the additional members include former long service District Commissioner Richard Oaitse, political veteran Rhoda Sekgororoane, Freddie Ramodise, Hilda Sibisibi, Dr. Tlamelo Mmatliand Maria Sola.