Opposition Botswana Movement for Democracy Gaborone North constituency branch has officially rejected application for the renewal of membership by party co-founder and renowned Gaborone based attorney Sidney Pilane.
“Gaborone North constituency branch met on Wednesday at Tsogang Primary School to decide the political fate of Pilane only for the majority to vote against his re-admission into the party,” confirmed Gaborone North constituency branch Chairman Maano Thukwi in an interview Friday.
“The majority of the branch felt Pilane is a controversial character who will divide the constituency, let alone the party leadership. For the sake of the image of the party, the branch felt the issue should be viewed in the bigger picture to safeguard the image of the party, not to mention the leadership,” he added.
Of the 15 member bloc, 3 were undecided and thereby abstained from voting while two voted in favour of Pilane with the majority voting against his re-admission.
Most BMD members are reported to be uncomfortable with Pilane because of his association with the DISS Director General, Isaac Kgosi. Pilane and another local law firm Chibanda Makgalemele and Associates have been linked to a DISS planned war of attrition against the media. The strategy involves among other things, wearing media houses out with law suits to create a chilling effect against reporting on the corruption investigations against the DISS and its Director General by the Directorate on Corruption and economic Crime (DCEC).
Former Office of the President Special Advisor, Pilane was handed the letter of rejection Thursday and has since responded to the letter.
Besides demanding his joining fee of P1, 000, Pilane also requested for the minutes of the proceedings to which the Gaborone North branch refused because he is not part of the BMD.
“The proceedings were sensitive issues for the consumption of BMD membership to which Pilane does not belong. Worse still he never contributed the money to the branch but instead to the party,” Thukwi said.
Gaborone North branch Chairman is puzzled Pilane will seek re-admission with the constituency while he applied for the same in Gaborone South constituency.
Should Pilane feel badly treated, he is free to try other avenues, notably the National Executive Committee.
“The party leadership will listen to his appeal and eventually come to a conclusion. As for the Gaborone North branch we have played our part.”
Pilane would not comment on the issue telling the Sunday Standard that the matter was with NEC as he has since approached them with the verdict.
“I was not rejected by the BMD but by some interested individuals in Gaborone North constituency. The matter is before the party leadership which will deal with the matter appropriately. I will await them,” said Pilane.