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Jostle for top posts rocks Modubule faction

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
BMD press conference PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Cracks are reportedly emerging in the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) faction led by party chairman Nehemiah Modubule, as the team leaders jostle for which positions to contest for ahead of the weekend congress.

The party’s four executive positions – president, vice–president, chairman and secretary general – are up for grabs at the troubled party’s Bobonong  elective congress, and within Modubule’s faction, tensions are rising over how to allocate them. Authoritative sources told Mmegi yesterday that the faction’s leaders, Modubule, secretary general, Gilbert Mangole, national executive committee member, Tlamelo Mmatli and founding member, Sydney Pilane are all vying for the top posts.

Members of the faction are pressuring the four to settle on which position to contest, while the leaders themselves are unhappy with the combinations being suggested. “Some members of the faction want Pilane as president, but not with Mmatli as his vice. There are those who want Pilane as president, deputised by Modubule, but Modubule himself wants to remain chairman.

The faction wants Moeng Pheto to be the chairman, but Pheto has since turned down the offer citing personal reasons. Mangole also wants to defend his current position. “The team met on Sunday after the National Executive Committee to debate these issues, but there was no solution,” the source said. 

Deputy secretary general, Tseleng Botlhole, another member of the faction, which is known as MMM, is expected to defend her position.  The MMM faction has

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reportedly called a last-minute meeting ahead of the Bobonong congress to break the deadlock and finalise a lobby list. “The lobby list will be finalised before the end of the week,” the insider said. 

Mmatli, however, has denied he had plans to contest for the vice-presidency.  “I have not made up my mind on whether to contest for any party position or not. I will decide if my name is nominated from the floor. It is not true that the issue of lobby list has been discussed,” Mmatli said yesterday.

For his part, Modubule was dismissive when contacted for comment. “I am sorry I cannot grant you people an interview,” he said.  However, early last month, Modubule told Mmegi that he would defend his position.  Efforts to contact Pilane and Mangole were unsuccessful despite repeated attempts to reach both men. 

The MMM faction is expected to square up against leaders of the expelled Ndaba Gaolathe/Wynter Mmolotsi faction. Gaborone Central MP, Phenyo Butale is expected to fight for secretary general, while Gabane/Mankgodi legislator, Pius Mokgware will challenge for chairperson of the party. National executive committee member, Oarabile Tshenyego is expected to represent the faction in the election for treasurer, Mmegi sources said.



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