Monday, March 1, 2021

Tempers flare at BMD over Pilane re-admission

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the weekend ended in chaos as anti- Sydney Pilane faction led by  party vice president Wynter Mmolotsi walked out in protest.

The anti Pilane faction believes that the quorum collapsed after they walked out while on the other hand the Pro- Pilane faction led by party secretary general Gilbert Mangole and Chairman Nehemiah Modubule is of the view that the meeting was successful.

According to a person who attended, the meeting was acrimonious from the beginning to the end.

It all started after Gaborone North Member of parliament, Haskins Nkaigwa called on Modubule to recuse himself because he had the previous night chaired a factional meeting at Tlokweng where a decision was taken to stage manage the NEC meeting the following day.

The situation at BMD has raised fears of infiltration and use of money to influence and buy loyalty.

The situation went out of hand to a point where both factions were threatening to fight each other as tempers boiled over.

“When the NEC met at the weekend Pilane’s matter was not on the agenda. This was so because Pilane’s faction led by Gilbert Mangole believed that Pilane has been re-admitted to the party at Mangole’s constituency therefore there was no need to discuss the matter further,” the source explained.

On the other hand, the anti- Pilane faction refused and insisted that the agenda of the NEC meeting must focus on the re-admission of Pilane into the party. 

The meeting degenerated into chaos as members from each faction started arguing and threatening to beat each other up.

“It was at this point that Mmolotsi’s faction requested that there should be an adjournment of the meeting. But Mangole and his team refused insisting that the adjournment should be decided by voting. It was suggested that there should be counting by way of raising  of hands to count those who supported the adjournment and those against it but Mmolotsi’s team refused to vote for adjournment,” the source explained.

This happened after Mmolotsi had outed those who had attended the faction meeting in Tlokweng the previous night.

Amost all those that had attended the Tlokweng meeting were said to be compromised in one way or another and thus unfit to preside over the Pilane issue,

When a heated argument ensued, Mmolotsi and his team then decided to walk out of the meeting resulting in the collapse of the quorum.

However, Mangole told this publication on Monday that BMD NEC met over the weekend and every matter on the agenda on that particular day was dealt with. 

The Telegraph can confirm that Mmolotsi and the other side perceived to be anti-Pilane only got to see the agenda at the meeting.

The pro-Pilane had talked about the agenda the previous night at their factional meeting in Tlokweng. Mangole saw nothing wrong with this.

 “The meeting proceeded well. The re-admission of Pilane back into the party was never part of the agenda of the meeting. That matter is dealt with by the Mochudi branch where Pilane applied for the party membership. We received a letter from Mochudi branch that confirmed his re-admission back into the party. The branch requested that his membership should be processed. Right now his membership is being processed,” said Mangole.

On the other hand, Mmolotsi told this publication that the BMD NEC meeting never took place. 

This publication is reliably informed that Mmolotsi was amongst those who walked out but the BMD acting President insisted that he was never part of the meeting.

“I heard that the meeting failed to take place, I wouldn’t know what might have led to the failure of the meeting because I was not there. I am yet to find out,” was all he could say.

It is still to become clear why Mangole, Modubule and their followers in the NEC feel so much indebted to Pilane.

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