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BMD Throws In The Sponge

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has given up its bid to return to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The party’s secretary general, Gilbert Mangole wrote to the Court of Appeal (CoA) before the case could be heard, informing the court of their intention to withdraw the matter and pay any costs, including wasting the court’s time.

“The grounds for the withdrawal have nothing to do with the merits of the appeal, in which merits the Appellant has supreme confidence, the withdrawal of the appeal being compelled by the circumstances that by its conduct, the judicial system has determined the political rather than the legal outcome of the matter from inception in favour of the Respondents,” court papers read.

The party accuses the High Court of favouring the UDC.

“One or more of its judges being a former or current member of one of the UDC political parties, unduly delayed in hearing the Review Application and, notwithstanding that the court had allocated three days for the hearing of the case, only allowed the Appellant 30 minutes to argue its case,” Mangole bemoaned.

BMD further stated that the CoA, by refusing to hear the appeal on an expedited basis prior to the 2019 General Election on account largely

of what are arguably political considerations, diminished the meaningfulness of the appeal as to render it hardly worth prosecuting. They further stated that they could not afford the security for costs. Mangole states that, “the Registrar, by setting grossly excessive, exorbitant and unaffordable security for costs at P230, 000 made it impossible for the Appellant to pursue its appeal.”

BMD had approached the CoA to overturn a High Court decision that dismissed its application for a review of its expulsion from the UDC. Adding salt to injury by not reinstating the BMD into the political bloc, the party’s wish to have Botswana Congress Party delegitimised as a UDC member by the courts did not come true.

The BMD went into the elections solo and got just over 3, 000 votes across all the constituencies they contested in winning a single council seat. Contacted for comment on how they would proceed, BMD chairman Nehemiah Modubule said their future will be determined by the congress in July.

“For now we remain expelled from the UDC. The congress will determine how we proceed going forward,” he said.


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