Mmegi Online :: Nkate Slams 'Naive' Pilane
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Last Updated
Friday 08 December 2017, 17:25 pm.
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Nkate Slams 'Naive' Pilane

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Jacob Nkate has slammed former special advisor to the president, Sidney Pilane calling him a 'naive' person for writing an article that criticised President Ian Khama's style of leadership.
By Oliver Modise
Correspondent
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nkate Slams 'Naive' Pilane








In his letter published in the Sunday Standard, Pilane accused President Khama of poor judgement, authoritarianism, autocracy and ruling the country by fear and patronage.

He cautioned Khama to stop trying to take complete control of the BDP and its affairs, arguing that Khama had no place deciding who may or may not contest the Central Committee elections.

Pilane also condemned Khama and Vice President Mompati Merafhe for campaigning for some BDP members against others in the battle for the party Central Committee elections.

However, Pilane's remarks have not gone down well with the party's leadership.
"He is naive if he thinks he can correct the situation by writing some very lengthy letter which merely serves to add to the atmosphere of tension and suspicion unless of course that is what he wanted to achieve," said a fuming Nkate on Friday.

Nkate said this while answering questions at a BDP press conference organised to brief journalists on the upcoming BDP Congress at Maharaji Conference Centre in Gaborone on Friday.

He was accompanied by the BDPs executive secretary, Dr Comma Serema, Kavis Kario, Vincent Seretse and Sechele Sechele.

Nkate also took advantage of the press conference to refute stories about the intensifying factional feuding in the party.

The Minister of Education and Skills Development also announced that the Gaborone North BDP branch where Pilane resides had written a letter to the party secretariat distancing itself from Pilane's statements about Khama's government and the rift within the BDP.

He said that the branch committee, which is horrified by Pilane's exposition, had also turned down funds that Pilane wanted to pledge to the branch to prepare for the upcoming July congress.

Currently the BDP's Nkate/Merafhe faction is tussling for control of the party with the rival Kwelagobe/Kedikilwe faction.

Nkate said that democracy within the ruling party was not under threat, as those who were currently raising funds for party chairman Daniel Kwelagobe want the BDP followers to believe.

He also warned members to rid the party of factional groupings as they have the potential to destroy the BDP.

He said Kwelagobe was not denied funding by the party as punishment for indicating that he was opposed to

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Khama's initiative on central committee elections.

The BDP has announced it will hold a special congress on July 17 to elect a president where Khama is standing unopposed as party leader.

On Saturday the party will hold a congress at which the Central Committee will be elected. He said it was regrettable that some party members like Merafhe and a contestant for the position of chairman, Tebelelo Seretse were snubbed by other party officials at the launch of Tati West MP, Guma Moyo in Matshelagabedi last week.

Contacted for comment Pilane said that he wrote the article in his personal capacity, adding that Nkate was entitled to his own views on the issue.

"I wrote an article expressing my views and, as it turns out judging from the responses received, echoing the views of hundreds of others throughout the country, many of them members of the BDP.

Reactions in the press also speak for themselves. I wrote it in my name, on my own behalf, and at no time have I claimed to be writing on behalf of the BDP or anybody else," he said.

He said he was aware that the branch committee had written a letter to the party Secretariat, dissociating itself from his views.

"I had not, at any time, claimed that they had had anything to do with it. The letter was written, I am told, at the instance of a few of them who had been primed by some people in the leadership of the Party," he told Monitor.

Pilane further denied that he had offered the constituency some money to prepare for the upcoming Congress as alleged by Nkate. He said that he was only approached by one council candidate who wanted financial assistance in her campaign for the October general election.

"One Councillor did ask for money to assist in her campaign effort. I agreed. She later changed her mind, and I said to her that I would give it to the many other members who had also asked me for money," said Pilane.

"Jacob Nkate is entitled to his views, as I am to mine," he added.

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