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Friends advise Gaolathe to form new party

CHAKALISA DUBE
Gaolathe addressing his supporters in a recent meeting PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) members who are affiliated to Ndaba Gaolathe’s faction have maintained their resolute position that they should form their own party.

Two factions, one led by Gaolathe and the other by Sydney Pilane are claiming ownership of the BMD. Both parties have since appeared before the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership in a bid to resolve the ownership battle, which has been punctuated by fist-fighting.

In fact, the members who attended the BMD meeting in Francistown on Saturday also want Gaolathe’s faction to ditch the UDC and go at it alone at the 2019 general elections. 

Members of Gaolathe’s team in the Francistown region made the umpteenth call for a new party during a closed door meeting with Wynter Mmolotsi who is the vice president in Gaolathe’s faction. Mmolotsi was in Francistown to brief members about submissions made by the Gaoathe’s faction to the UDC.

Pilane’s faction has also made submissions to the UDC.

The UDC is currently assessing the submissions and is expected to deliver a verdict soon in a bid to end the ownership battle.  It was the second time the region made official calls for a new party. The region initially made calls for a new party in July this year. Other party members affiliated to Gaolathe’s faction have of recent made amplified calls for a new party.

Even in unofficial platforms, members of Gaolathe’s faction have in recent months backed the

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idea to form a new party.

Over the weekend, members of Gaolathe’s faction are said have raised concerns that any decision that may be taken by the UDC leadership pertaining to the BMD fracas could bring severe acrimony between the two warring factions and ultimately prolong the infighting. For this reason they reportedly felt that the only viable option will be to form their own party.

Gaolathe’s faction has been calling for a congress re-run while the BMD led by Pilane has made it clear that it will not entertain that.

Yesterday, BMD Francistown region leader, Jothan Thembo confirmed that members of Gaolathe’s faction want to form a new party that will not be part of the UDC.

“They feel that forming a new party will be the only feasibly solution for them (Gaolathe’s faction),” he said. Thembo said that the BMD executive would assess demands made by the Francistown region and make a decision.

Earlier on during the Saturday meeting, Mmolotsi urged members to wait for the verdict of the UDC leadership on the BMD infighting before they can map the way forward. 

Political analysts who believe that there is no room for reconciliation between the two BMD warring factions have also solidified the positions of those calling for a new party.



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