Moribund BMD speaks from the dead

Daniel Chida
REMAINING AT THE HELM: Nehemiah Modubule

Batswana are reaping what they sowed- Modubule

Controversial Political figure, Nehemiah Modubule finds himself alone at the helm of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a dying political party which was once the darling of many, especially in 2011 after its inception.

In 2017 the party split and gave birth to a splinter party , The Alliance for Progressives but Modubule remained at the helm with other reputable leaders such as Gilbert Mangole, Dr Tlamelo Mmatli, Rhoda Sekgororoane and Sidney Pilane.

However today Modubule cuts a lonely figure as his former comrades have deserted him with a party many regard as, ‘Dead’ or just an empty shell.

Daniel Chida caught up with the former Member of Parliament for Lobatse who shared his thoughts on the current affairs of the country.

Tell us about the state of your party?

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The party is still there with 20 branches functioning but after incurring debts from the court cases that we lost, we are failing to run it the way we had wanted to.

We still need to go around the country and revive ten more branches so that we can go for a congress once the State of Public Emergency is over.

Despite that we do have Democracy Works Foundation and African Liberation Network helping our members with training.

Is Sidney Pilane still the President?

Of course yes he has not resigned! What we know is that he is not going to contest for any seat at the coming congress.

He is still our leader although he spends most of his time in South Africa.

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It is a known fact that Pilane is no longer with you and you are the acting President, your take ?

I know there are those allegations but I am the Chairman of the party and Pilane has not notified us of his resignation.

So when do you intend to hold the party congress?

We haven’t prepared because of Covid 19 regulations but since it’s opening up we will start preparing.

You cannot prepare for a congress when only few people are allowed to congregate.

We also still need to revive our structures first before we can think of holding a congress.

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It is also alleged that Pilane was the sole BMD sponsor, how are you surviving?

We are broke and have since relocated our office from Gaborone to Mochudi because of rental.

Pilane was the one paying for our rent in Gaborone but after he stopped we saw it fit to close it.

Are other party structures still alive?

We no longer have the Women’s League because majority, including its President Rhoda Sekgororoane resigned to join other parties but the Youth League is still there.

What is your take on the current protests by civilians?

We are disappointed by what this government is doing but the blame should be put squarely on Batswana, they are reaping what they sowed because it is them who voted for the BDP.

BDP has been like this and will never change. They voted for BDP instead of us with the hope that the new BDP was going to be different from that of former President Ian Khama, they had so much hope and it’s frustrating.

Khama’s party, the Botswana Patriotic Party (BPF) is working with other opposition parties, are you also prepared to join other opposition parties?

We have not taken a decision to work with anyone.

Lastly are you happy with how things transpired in Bobonong during the BMD Congress in 2017?

It wasn’t our intention for that to happen. We did not expect it at all but you have to know that it was a culmination of in fighting that started that way back from 2015, it was not our intention to end up like that.

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