Different regional chairpersons for Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) yesterday said their weekend congress would not go on as planned if the issue regarding the expelled members is not addressed.
The regions included BOMASE, South East, Francistown, Letswapo, Kweneng and Gaborone. They demanded immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the expelled members.
Kweneng regional chairperson, Boipuso Dikgang stated that they will carefully look at the issue, “(in) accordance with article 14.5 (c), which says the national congress has the ‘right to ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent bodies, units or officials of the movement, except those of the national congress, including the evaluation of the performance of members of the NEC and other national committees’.”
Dikgang said his region had taken a resolution that all suspensions or expulsions be lifted pending an objective and unbiased determination by the congress.
Keorapetse Kgale of Gaborone region said, “we are concerned that some members of National Executive Committee (NEC) have been going around choosing delegates without following party constitution”.
Kgale noted that it was regional structures, which should run regional affairs, as stated in the party constitution article 22.6, which reads, “the regional committee will supervise and direct the work of the movement and all it’s organs in the region”.
The party constitution further states the regional committee will ensure that the branch and other structures of the movement in the region function democratically and effectively.
He said they take strong view that the only delegates who are going to participate at the Bobonong congress are those authenticated by regional committees.
“We demand that a neutral and reputable body be appointed to preside over the congress and conduct free and fair elections. This is also in keeping with principles of natural justice where one cannot be referee and player at the same time,” Kgale said.
He said this is so because the NEC is conflicted and is not capable to run free and fair elections.
However, the BMD constitution also gives the party chair, Nehemiah Modubule, control of the congress. Article 13.5 reads, “the congress, which shall be conducted by the NEC and chaired by the national Chairperson, shall determine its own procedures in accordance with democratic principles”.
Moses Motladiile of Letswapo region said they demand that all members of the BMD in good standing be allowed to attend the congress in Bobonong as observers if they are not delegates because failure to do so will be in contravention of article 6.1 (a) which states that; “a member of the movement is entitled to take a full and active part in the discussion, formulation and implementation of the policy of the movement” and 6.1 (d) “a member is entitled to take part in elections and be elected or appointed to any office, position, committee, structure, commission or delegation of the movement”.