Modubule talks reconciliation

Botswana Movement for Democracy chairman Nehemiah Mmoloki Modubule is not new to controversy.

Though he started his political career at the Botswana National Front in 1977, he fell out with the leadership who then expelled him from the party.

The Former Member of Parliament for Lobatse went on to contest for elections as an Independent Candidate in 2009 where he won before defecting to his current party.

In 2011, Modubule was elected BMD’s Chairman but he turned from a hero to a villain to some when he became a ring leader together with his Secretary General Gilbert Mangole, in the fight to re-admit Sidney Pilane into the party.

Pilane was amongst the brains behind the formation of BMD in 2010 but quit politics to focus on his legal career.

The Voice Staffer, Daniel Chida paid Dubs, as he is affectionately called, a visit at his Lobatse office to hear what he has to say about the current BMD crisis.

What exactly is happening at the BMD and what do you think is the root cause of all these problems?

Our problems started in 2012 during the first Youth League Congress in Selibe Phikwe when we had a faction called Operation Tsaya Puso led by the late Gomolemo Motswaledi (MHSRIP).

The faction had the likes of Dimpho Mashaba, Rasina Rasina, Disoso Pheto and Motswaledi had a way of managing them.

After his death there was no proper control of that faction and some of its members ended up leaving the party.

There was chaos to a point where the then President, Ndaba Gaolathe threatened to dissolve the Youth League but we advised him that he had no powers to do that.

After that, another faction called Safe BMD led by Ndaba Gaolathe and Wynter Mmolotsi emerged.

We are where we are now because of all this and the fact that some of our members don’t understand the party constitution.

But some point Sidney Pilane as the main cause of the problems and that you are being used, what is your take on that?

When Pilane wanted to re-join the BMD they turned his application down arguing that he was after a certain position but that is unconstitutionally.

We don’t have a clause in our constitution that bars one from re-admission because he wants to contest for a certain position.

Pilane is a member under Kgatleng West Constituency. He is not the cause of our problems but of course yes his situation aggravated the situation.

There is also another notion that BMD is in chaos because the constitution was drafted out of anger and that the President was not given powers because of experiences at Botswana Democratic Party.

Yes, we don’t want have one centre of power like what is happening at the BDP where Ian Khama has all the powers.

We gave powers to the committee not an individual, but I don’t agree that it was done out of anger.

It was drafted long back in 2009 before the party was formed. If you give one person power then he is bound to abuse it.

You suspended some party members but they went ahead and held a congress at Letlhabile where masses filled the venue, how did you feel as leaders?

We don’t regard that as congress but a rally because members from all the parties including BDP were there.

We gave them suspension conditions but they continue to violate those conditions to a point where they castigate us at their gatherings.

We have noted their behaviour; I also noted that BOFEPUSO was not there but Gaolathe’s friends in Johnson Motshwarakgole and Batlhalefi Motshegwa.

You have also been accused of holding secrets meetings with BOPEU, what is it that you discuss with them?

Yes I do hold meetings with individuals and unions like BOPEU and BFTU with the hope that they will help us to resolve our problems before the congress.

I had meetings with Tobokani Rari and other leaders; I will not let Motshwarakgole detect to me who to talk to.

Will the Bobonong Congress take place?

The congress will be held but cohesion is something that I cannot guarantee. We are likely to have parallel delegates and if it happens then we will have to resolve that.

The congress is not going to resolve our problems but as leaders we have to sit around the table and reconcile.

There is a possibility that when they (the other faction) win and we lose or the other way round we will still have two separate groups within the party.

It does not help the situation at all, I have always insisted that we need to sit and talk and organise this congress together otherwise it would be a waste of time.

Which position are you going to contest for?

My colleagues will decide on that but when the push comes to shove I will defend my position.

I won’t be contesting for the Presidential seat like some say but you have to note that currently our Party does not have a President or an acting one.

You have also been accused of causing problems every time when there is a by- election, your reaction to that?

We don’t cause problems towards elections but react to situations. It is them who are wrong.

I want leaders who respect and defend the constitution. When you say it is nothing but a piece of paper then know you are wrong.

Fa o tlola molao motheo ke le teng kenna lesukuro. You have to take into consideration that on the eve of the Tlokweng by- election I allowed Gaolathe to address the last rally despite being on suspension.

I got a call from Moeti Mohwasa on behalf of the Umbrella for Democratic Change and I told them not to interfere.

I don’t think they will invite him again until a decision has been taken.

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