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End of the road for BMD

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has refused to expedite an appeal filed by the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

The BMD led by its president Sidney Pilane had wanted the court to exercise its discretion to allow an expedited appeal, as the party wanted to challenge the decision of the High Court, which recently cemented its expulsion from the opposition coalition, Umbrella for Democracy Change (UDC). 

BMD had filed a review application before the High Court after the UDC expelled it from its fold on October 2018 and lost a related case with costs. 

When dismissing the application, CoA Judge President Ian Kirby said there were not enough reasons to expedite the appeal. 

Kirby explained that having weighed all circumstances and arguments on both sides, there was no need for an appeal to be argued in an unrealistically

short time frame. 

“The appeal will take its turn with other appeals on the waiting list and will be heard at a later date,” he said. 

Kirby also said if they granted the expedited appeal it was going to result in no realisable practical advantages to it, but only a victory on principle, which could still be achieved by an appeal in the ordinary course. 

He pointed out that such a result would likely cause voter confusion and uncertainty in the 2019 general election, which is neither in the interest of justice nor in the public’s interest and would be prejudicial to the UDC as the respondents in the matter.  Appeal Justices Isaac Lesetedi and Monametsi Gaongalelwe concurred.


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