Meanwhile, the BMD members in the interactive media and the leaders you meet tend to dismiss those who leave as mutinous. They are seen as opportunists who decided to mortgage their souls. In this name-calling they forget to learn from those who leave.
This failure to learn from such departures will kill BMD. If not, it will be the centre stage of fallout with BNF post 2014. Remember BNF remains a left leaning organization. They are revolutionaries and are not short of radicals who after defeat in 2014 will point the finger at a wobbling BMD. The coalition will break up then over performance issues that could have been avoided had the BMD learnt from those leaving and what they say upon departure. The party must not kid itself, the public statements are often sugar coated not to reveal the full extent of the fall-outs within but gulfs of feuds internally are known to exist. If the party does not address these they are only fooling themselves as time will deal them a terrible blow.
Prior to his departure, Botsalo Ntuane had a public letter written to him. The letter was signed by Rasina Winfred Rasina, a good friend of mine. Some within the circles said the letter was penned from elsewhere. The letter easily let you in on what is happening in that camp. Then there were the youth leaders who left, Rosilene Panzirah, Armstrong Dikgafela and others. When they left they gave as their reasons having been hoodwinked into leaving the BDP in the first place - which I did not buy since they were of age to determine the factors for themselves back then. They however hinted that they were leaving because the BMD was not what they thought it would be. In other forums they did indicate the party was riddled with competition for influence in a toxic manner. Also that it was now becoming the one man show they had previously been told to run away from.
There was also Samson Guma Moyo who left. He had been among those who formed and helped the party financially. When he left he was guarded on reasons for departure. With time it emerged that he partly left because the BMD was not what they all thought it would be. They had left not because they disliked BDP policies but because they believed the BDP was now a party controlled from the centre and not by the masses. BMD had become worse even.
They were all castigated as sell outs that got acquired by the highest bidder. The bid fee was never announced though. Their principles were also questioned. I do not have a problem with leader’s principles being questioned but I am of the view that the party that keeps losing members must introspect. Those who keep questioning other people’s principles when they leave out of discomfort must perhaps question their own ideals and principles first. That is more important as they are the ones saddled on a party that threatens never to leave up to its initial promise.
A dark cloud hangs over the BMD not because of people who keep leaving. All they do is reduce the numbers and tarnish its public image. The root cause of their departure is what must be investigated by the party and addressed. I do not claim to know what their internal problems are as outsiders rather just that signs of trouble are there. The official speeches of those who leave, and you have plenty of reasons not to trust them, point to that the BMD’s problems are created by those who stay behind. When Guma said he had become disillusioned with the BMD he knew what he was talking about and so do the others.
Unfortunately political parties in this country are not learning organizations and love to point fingers at and castigate individuals. For BMD’s survival’s sake they must learn to introspect and know that the problem is not always those who leave. They must guard against the BNF line of ‘ke noka e tletse ea tlhatsa’. Besides, they are not a river yet, let alone one that is flooding to be spewing debris along its course. The problem is right at the height/heart of the party’s political administration. They have created a monster. The rumoured imminent departure of another MP, wherever he goes, will also be a blow as the ‘coalition’ will become an outright minority in parliament if Mephato Reatile joins BCP as expected.