The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) top brass will meet this weekend to decide the fate of the party’s youth league committee.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is being held at a time when the BMD leadership is divided over the elections of the youth league held in Mochudi three weeks ago. Some BMD big wigs believe that the current youth league officials should not be recognised since the elections attracted a lot of controversy. Certain party elders were also accused of taking sides in the elections that pitted a camp led by Roger Mphafe against Phenyo Segokgo’s team. At some point during the elective congress, the Mphafe side was forced to withdraw from the race.
During a recent press conference Mphafe and his supporters said they had lost hope in the electoral process and accused party secretary general, Gilbert Mangole and vice president Wynter Mmolotsi of unfair and unlawful meddling in the youth elections.
“We indeed pulled out of the race as we had reached a point where we had completely lost trust in the electoral process and its credibility. I must say this; that the events that occurred in Mochudi did not start in Mochudi,” Mphafe said.
According to a source, the youth election rivals were called by BMD president, Ndaba Gaolathe last Friday for reconciliation. “Ndaba wanted us to form a compromise committee. However Phenyo’s team was not comfortable with this. The BMD committee is made up of 16 members and eight members were expected to come from each team. But Phenyo’s team said they were voted by members and if the party president has a problem with them, then he should consult party members or dissolve the committee and call for a special youth congress,” the source said.
The source added that Gaolathe told the youth that if he had powers, he was going to dissolve the committee but he prefers that the NEC should handle the issue.
The BMD constitution article 16.2E says NEC may suspend or dissolve any organ or structure in exceptional circumstances.
Meanwhile, Dimpho Mashaba who has been leading the Mphafe team said Ndaba failed to reconcile the factions. “It seems nothing concrete had been agreed but NEC would be deciding the matter. I cannot reveal or say anything because this issue is sensitive and internal,” Mashaba said.
Segokgo said they are aware that NEC would meet on Saturday to decide the fate of the new youth league committee. “I can’t say anything since this issue is internal,” he said.
BMD secretary general, Mangole said after the Mochudi youth congress the party leadership would take stern action against members who insulted elders at the event and those who want to destroy the party. “We are definitely going to take action against certain members. Our party is not going to tolerate indiscipline,” he warned.
There are fears that the NEC meeting this weekend could widen divisions in the party, leading to defections. The NEC may endorse the new youth committee or dissolve it and call for a special congress again to elect new leaders. It may also order that action be taken against the youth who insulted party leaders openly during the congress. The BMD NEC consists of 29 members.