Gaolathe BMD faction restless ahead of Tuesday’s UDC verdict

Nicholas Mokwena
Monday, 18 September 2017
Gaolathe-led NEC member Sonny Moatlhod Gaolathe-led NEC member Sonny Moatlhod

Umbrella for Democratic Change leadership continues to frustrate the calendar of Botswana Movement for Democracy’s Ndaba Gaolathe faction to form a new party.

There have been several postponements by the faction to make finality to build their new political home. The postponements were made to allow the UDC leadership to help resolve the BMD crisis. 

It has since emerged that the meeting that Gaolathe faction was scheduled to hold this weekend where a final decision was to be made had to be postponed. The faction had told the UDC that the crisis should be resolved by the end of last month (August).

It had set September 16th 2017 as the date when all members across the country would meet in one place and decide their next move after considering UDC’s verdict. 

When members were addressed on the 9th of this month, it was the date that had been set to consider the decision by the UDC whose NEC it had requested to conclude the matter on the 31st of August 2017. 

Unfortunately at its Tuesday’s meeting this week, the UDC NEC reserved its ruling on the BMD impasse for Tuesday next week therefore frustrating the calendar set by the Gaolathe faction which is said to be determined to form a new party. On Tuesday this week the UDC leadership met to consider both the oral and documented evidence that were presented when both factions appeared before the UDC jurisdiction. It has emerged that this has caused unrest among Gaolathe followers who believe that the UDC is deliberately delaying to give its verdict. It is claimed that the UDC is buying time to frustrate Gaolathe and company from forming a new party within reasonable time.  In one of the meetings held in Gaborone this past weekend Gaolathe-led NEC member Sonny Moatlhodi who is also Gaborone Regional Chairman said the delay is severely affecting their timetable.

“We thought by now we would be having an answer. We thought by now UDC would say we have heard you and a fresh congress should be called. Or they could say we heard you and have decided that the Matshekge congress was legitimate. 

“If by now we could be having that answer we were prepared to act. Where we are standing there is no time for approaching the court because it might go beyond 2019 which is election year,” Moatlhodi stated. 

He explained that there are now only two options remaining and that is a fresh congress or they form their own party. Even though members called for immediate divorce from the BMD, Moatlhodi pleaded for patience saying they should not just leave BMD because the verdict is being delayed. 

He expressed confidence that if they lose to Pilane’s faction in the UDC mediation, the loss would be on technicality and not merit. “If Pilane loses he would appeal the UDC verdict.

 At that point we would leave the BMD”.UDC Head of Communications Moeti Mohwasa confirmed that the verdict would be delivered to the concerned parties next week Tuesday afternoon. He called for calm saying the UDC NEC has been working tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the BMD matter is resolved. He said the ultimate goal is to save the BMD from any possible split. 

“The leadership met on Tuesday this week to scrutinise all the evidence presented. This is not a simple matter but we had to squeeze our timetable and abandon other pressing issues to deal with the BMD matter. 

“Next week we would present our proposal to both groups. Our preliminary finding is that the BMD problem started prior to the 2015 Gantsi Congress,” said Mohwasa.

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