Lobby lists shaped by Pilane/Mangole and Gaolathe/Mmolotsi axis
The coming Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Elective Youth Congress may be the defining factor in the power struggle that has characterised the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) breakaway movement.
Dates and venue are yet to be decided and already there are circulating lobby lists aligned to Sidney Pilane and Gilbert Mangole faction and the other in favour of the Ndaba Gaolathe and Wynter Mmolotsi team.
The Voice can reveal that a team of young BMD cadres from 40 constituencies congregated at Phatsimo Primary School in Francistown this past Saturday where a lobby list was drawn to stand at the coming “28th-30 April” congress.
The team that met in Francistown decided to rally behind Jacob Kelebeng as their presidential candidate to be assisted by Tshwaragano Ward Councillor Gaone Majere.
Councillor Majere is a well known Mmolotsi and BMD foot soldier and his inclusion in the lobby list could mean this team may be sympathetic to the Gaolathe/Mmolotsi team.
An inside source told The Voice that this is a team that is expected to get rid of Pilane’s faction from BMD for good.
“We have the support of all BMD Members of Parliament except Gilbert Mangole,” the source said.
“In fact the reason there’s a delay on the date and venue for the congress is that Pilane and Mangole’s faction are failing to come up with a strong team,” he said.
The Voice can reveal that so determined is this team that they have drawn up a budget of P2.5 million which they believe will help them to put up a strong campaign ahead of the congress.
However the presidential candidate- Kelebeng, who has already declared his intention to stand on social media, rubbished suggestions that he is in an anti Pilane lobby list.
Kelebeng said he’s not contesting to advance anyone’s agenda.
The aspirant described by many as a BMD youth with orange blood flowing through his veins told The Voice in an interview that his team’s intention is to unite the BMD and rejuvenate structures.
“We are aware of differences between our party leadership, and that is why we are contesting,” he said.
“Both Mangole and Gaolathe are my leaders and their differences as far as I’m concerned are none existent, it is democracy at play,” Kelebeng said.
Kelebeng said he was not yet ready to reveal who his running mates are as they are still waiting to complete their manifesto which will be launched at a press conference together with his team.
“I have a team that is willing to work for the party. The Youth League should be the frontline defence and a breeding hub for our movement and this team will do exactly that to bring back the glory days to BMD,” he said.
Reached for comment Francistown South MP and BMD Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi said he was not aware of any lobby list.
“Youth Leagues are semi-automomous and half of the time we don’t know what they are doing,” said Mmolotsi.
“I don’t really want to comment on lobby lists because they are not recognised structures of the party,” Mmolotsi further said.
The BMD Secretary General Gilbert Mangole also pleaded ignorance on the matter. Mangole said he was shocked that there are youngsters readying for a congress while they are still working on the dates.
“I don’t know where they got that date. The National Executive Committee is still discussing this issue. We are still to meet the youth leadership to map the way forward. As of today there is no confirmed date for the Youth Congress,” said Mangole.