The former Chief Spokesperson of the Botswana Movement for Democracy, Sidney Pilane, is expected to resign from the party, The Telegraph has learned.
If he resigns, Pilane will be the latest in a long series of leading BMD founding members who have since quit the BMD.
When BMD started after breaking away from the Botswana Democratic Party, many commentators dismissed the new party as having all the hallmarks of a COPE (Congress of the People), a splinter of the African National Congress in South Africa that was very popular at inception before imploding on account of poor management and internal differences at leadership level.
At the BMD’s first Congress held in 2011, Pilane had vied for leadership against Gomolemo Motswaledi but lost.
He was invited to serve in the party’s executive, but declined saying it would violate the party constitution which he played a key role in drafting.
Since that time observers say Pilane has not been active, which has led his detractors to say he had failed to show grace in defeat. Although he has not been active in the BMD, Pilane has consistently ruled out going back to the Botswana Democratic Party.
News of his imminent resignation from the BMD has, however, set tongues wagging.
There are those who believe that, like another BMD founder, Samson Moyo Guma, Pilane will spend a few months as non-aligned before formally rejoining the BDP ranks.
This comes in the wake of concerted ruling party efforts to recruit a number of disaffected BMD members.
There is, however, another speculation that Pilane could be resigning from BMD so as to re-launch his ambitions to become a High Court Judge.
His quest to join the bench was in the past shot down by President Ian Khama under circumstances generally deemed unfair. A long standing Khama critic, Pilane was thought to have been disqualified to make room for candidates more sympathetic to Khama and the ruling party.
Given Khama’s resolve to sow further instability in the ranks of the already disoriented opposition, there is all likelihood that Khama would accept Pilane as a judge as part of a strategy to use patronage to weaken opposition.
BMD President Gomolemo Motswaledi was this week in the dark about Pilane’s impending resignation from the party.
“I have not heard anything about it, and it will be improper for me to comment on it,” said Motswaledi.
The Telegraph has information that Pilane has already told those closest to him that he has made up his mind.