Mmegi Online :: BMD Matshekge victim suffers permanent eye damage
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Last Updated
Thursday 18 January 2018, 13:00 pm.
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BMD Matshekge victim suffers permanent eye damage

FRANCISTOWN: On a chilly morning of Saturday July 15, Maun-based businessman Outlwile Tsiara along with other Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD members left their camping venue at Bobonong Secondary School to Matshekge Senior Secondary.
By Chakalisa Dube Fri 11 Aug 2017, 15:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BMD Matshekge victim suffers permanent eye damage








The members who had camped at Bobonong Secondary were those affiliated to Ndaba Gaolathe’s faction.

Matshekge was destined the original venue for the BMD elective congress.

However, what was supposed to be a routine journey to a party activity ended tragically for the 64-year-old Tsiara.

Upon arrival in Matshekge, BMD supporters belonging to both Gaolathe and Sidney Pilane factions engaged in a brutal fight.

They pelted stones at each other, an incident which landed Tsiara and Phodiso Keiponye (the two Gaolathe supporters), in hospital, with the former suffering extensive injuries.

In total, four people belonging to Gaolathe’s faction were injured but two were treated and released on the same day as they had suffered less severe injuries

Tsiara was admitted to Sekgoma Memorial hospital in Serowe while Keiponye was admitted at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital (NRH) in Francistown. Both men have since been released from hospital.

The fight amongst BMD supporters broke out after Pilane’s faction denied Gaolathe’s team entrance into the original congress venue. The warring factions are now claiming ownership of the BMD after they held separate elective congresses in Bobonong.

Tsiara suffered a permanent damage to his left eye as a result of an injury suffered at the Matshekge congress. This means that his left eye will never see again.

Yesterday, Tsiara who is also a chairperson for the BMD Maun West branch, confirmed through telephone that his eye has been permanently damaged.

“I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that my eye has been permanently damaged. I am happy for the support that fellow party members have afforded me.

Even members of the party executive have been in constant touch with me and some have even visited me numerously,” said the married father of four girls.

Just like many affiliates of Gaolathe’s faction, Tsiara maintained that the Pilane faction was in the wrong. The Pilane faction has maintained the contrary in various media platforms.

“We were legitimate congress delegates. We were not supposed to be denied entry. We did not instigate the fight.

We were provoked and beaten by security guards (of Pilane’s faction). One day

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the truth will come out and Batswana will see who was wrong,” he said.

Despite his injuries, Tsiara said that he would not ditch political activism until the BMD and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) become a formidable force.

“I got injured for a noble cause. I am very optimistic that normalcy will return to the BMD. What I have encountered is part of the struggle,” said the BMD firebrand.

Keiponye who is BMD secretary for Maun East branch said that he is recovering well at home.

“I just have a small wound that is about to heal. I want to thank all the party members the support they have been givingme  since I got injured.”

Just like Tsiara, Keiponye who suffered head injuries,  said that he would not quit the BMD. He also maintained that he got injured fighting for a noble course.

Both men said that they remained optimistic that those who injured them will have their day in court.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Deputy Divisional Commander- North Central, Tamapo Bonyongo Nthoiwa recently told Mmegi that police are still investigating events that happened in Matshekge.

He said that no charges have been laid against anyone who was involved in the fighting among the BMD supporters.

“After recording all the evidence from witnesses, we will be able to know whom to approach in relation to damage to property and injuries sustained,” he said.

Yesterday BMD executive committee additional member (of the Ndaba team) Margaret Nasha said that the party planned to take the injured members for further medical assessment.

“We want to ensure that there is no further risk to their lives (which might arise as a result of the injuries). We have been in constant touch with them and we will assist them with some of the things they may need. They need our support more. They seem fine emotionally,” Nasha said. Nasha added that Tsiara attended a recent party activity she addressed in Maun. “I think it was too early for him to attend the event, but he is so passionate about the BMD.”

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