The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has lost with cost in a case it was challenging its expulsion from the opposition coalition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
BMD led by its president, Sidney Pilane had filed a review application before the High Court after the UDC expelled it from its fold in October 2018.
When dismissing the application, Justice Bashi Moesi said the BMD failed to produce any legal and credible case to convince the court why the UDC should not expel it.
He explained that the UDC as a political party had made its case and that as the court it should not interfere in the party’s decision.
“BMD was duly suspended and as a result expelled from the coalition and as such we cannot interfere with the decision,” he said.
Moesi also said claims made by the BMD that it was not given notice lacked merit as according to evidence, the UDC had given the former time and asked it to show cause why it should not be expelled after being suspended.
On claims made by the BMD that Botswana Congress Party (BCP) was not a member of the UDC and that it could not lawfully participate in meetings made to suspend and expel it, the judge said BCP was a legitimate member of the umbrella.
“BCP is a member of the UDC and they have every right to participate in
The BMD had in their attempt to reason why they could not be expelled argued that the UDC was formed and registered by the BMD, the Botswana National Front (BNF) and the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
Therefore, the BMD said BCP had no business in forming part of the decision to expel the former from the umbrella they formed while it was not even a member.
“No political party has since the registration of the UDC in 2012 applied to become a member of the UDC in terms of procedures set out in the registered UDC constitution with the result that the only members of the UDC remain the BMD, the BNF and BPP,” reads BMD secretary general, Gilbert Mangole’s affidavit.
However, the panel of three judges, Moesi, Tebogo Tau and Tshepo Motswagole,
could not buy the BMD’s contention saying the decision was valid and subsequently dismissing the party’s claims.
But while the UDC was celebrating its victory, the BMD was already devising a plan to take the legal battle further.
In a brief address to the media after the verdict, Advocate Pilane said they would file an appeal as soon as of today.