Wednesday, October 4, 2023

UDC partners back Pilane ouster

Contracting partners of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are allegedly backing the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) youth league’s statement calling for the party president Sidney Pilane’s resignation.

The Telegraph has learnt that the contracting partners among them the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) are going to make their stance on the BMD crisis clear at their upcoming congresses to be held during the Presidential holidays.

The BMD national executive committee on Monday held an impromptu meeting following a strong worded letter authored by the youth league which was addressed to the party leadership to act on their demand last week. The youth league’s demand is that Pilane should step aside.

In an interview, BMD Youth League, Secretary General Leak Seboko indicated that the letter demanding for Pilane’s resignation comes after the youth league agreed that Pilane failed for a long time to lead the party.

Seboko said that BMD under the leadership of Pilane’s has also brought confusion and instability within the Umbrella for Democratic Change Coalition. 

“We fear that if we go to national elections under the leadership of Pilane we are going to lose all parliamentary candidates. People no longer trust him and his presence will make people to rebel against the party at the polls,” added Seboko.

Seboko explained that Pilane’s leadership has long been questionable adding that individuals within the party had voiced out their displeasure about his leadership behind the scenes.

According to Seboko those who voiced their concern were youth and elders of the party. He said that the youth could not hide and remain silent anymore about Pilane’s leadership.

Seboko indicated that there is a need to recall Pilane and bring someone to hold that position ahead of elections next year.

He explained that they agreed that anyone who holds a position in the National Executive Committee should not take up the position as it was evident that they hero-worshipped Pilane.

“We don’t want Gilbert Mangole, Dr Tlamelo Mmatli and Nehemiah Modubule to take up that position. We need someone who has not been involved in this infighting. That person should be the face of BMD ahead of elections next year,” added Seboko.

Seboko indicated that they are hopeful to get support and positive response that is aimed at restoring the image of the party.

According to Seboko, they remain confident that the NEC will consider their request though some NEC members fear to confront Pilane.
Meanwhile the opposition Botswana National Front spokesperson Justin Hunyepa has not ruled out the possibility that the embattled BMD will be one of the topical issues at their congress. Hunyepa indicated that given the events at BMD which is one of the  UDC contracting partners some of their regions could bring the issue on the agenda.

Hunyepa‘s comments comes after bad blood between Botswana Congress Party President Dumelang Saleshando and Pilane broke into the open recently with the former threatening not to share a table with the latter anymore. The BCP Youth league has also called on the party to take right decision at the congress regarding the animosity that exists between BCP and BMD.

BMD Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole’s phone rang unanswered when contacted to comment on the youth’s league demand.


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