banner_9.jpg
banner_274.jpg
Breaking News
Monday, 11 December 2017
Home » News » Politics » BCP opts legal route to address Botswana’s woes

BCP opts legal route to address Botswana’s woes

Publishing Date : 22 August, 2017

Author : NEO LORRAINE PHOKOJE

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has decided to mount a legal challenge against the government on a number of contentious issues. Prominent among the issues is the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the planned Air Botswana Privatization.

Speaking at the party national conference in Francistown, party leader, Dumelang Saleshando the introduction of EVMs and the other changes made to the electoral laws must be challenged. He observed that it is important to protect the integrity of the country’s electoral process. “Members of the public through Kgotla meetings have told the IEC that they reject the EVM in its entirety but it is clear that the IEC in alliance with the executive has decided that public opinion does not matter and the EVM will be forced down our throats. It should also be noted that the IEC has not subjected the procurement process of the EVM to a competitive bidding process as is the norm. This adds to our suspicion that there is more than meets the eye with the EVM project,” he said.


Air Botswana privatization

The BCP president noted that there are other issues of national interest that the party has been contemplating taking to the courts including the Air Botswana privatization. He said for many years Air Botswana has been flouted as a candidate for privatization. “In 2007, following recommendations to cabinet by the then Presidential Business and Economic Advisory Council, government hastily engaged in a process to sell Air Botswana to Air Link of South Africa. A Parliamentary motion to halt the process was not adequate to halt the process. It was only when the BCP issued notice to sue that government retreated.” He noted that more recently, President Lt Gen Ian Khama issued a directive for Air Botswana to be sold to Wilderness Safari, a company in which he has financial interest. In essence, the President was to become both the seller and the buyer of Air Botswana.

Sale of Morupule B power plant


Saleshando said billions of pula have been invested into the construction of the Morupule Power plant. He indicated that there have been reports suggesting that this plant may be sold. When national resources are disposed in a secretive manner, this can only be aimed at concealing corruption. “We have been closely following developments around Morupule B and will take government to court should we establish that government intends to proceed with the sale,” said Saleshando. 

Self- Inflicted Harm medical policy


The BCP President also laid a charge against the Ministry of Health and Wellness which recently circulated a savingram on “Removal of Medical Cover for Self-Inflicted Harm”.  He said the instruction to medical personnel was for them to discriminate patients on the basis of their lifestyle. Saleshando said his party will be challenging the formulation of this policy as it offends both the constitution as well as the ethical conduct of medical personnel.

Construction at Mosu


“In 2014, we lodged a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the alleged use of public resources in the construction of a private home for the President. The Ombudsman chose to ignore the issue until her retirement. We have held meetings with the recently appointed Ombudsman who has promised to investigate and report back to us. There is need to consider legal options as the findings of the Ombudsman are not considered binding,” observed Saleshando.


He said it is important for the BCP to pursue these cases to safeguard the public goods against wanton looting. Saleshando noted that the amendment of the retired presidents’ pension law was a firm confirmation that the appetite by the BDP leadership to grab what they can get from State coffers is unlimited. He is of the view that this will only get worse as we approach elections and the realization that their days in government are numbered.



However Saleshando shared the challenges that will come as a result of going to court route to deal with these issues: “Court cases are expensive though imperative at times. The party is in the process of exploring opportunities for collaboration with organizations that share our concern about the issues we want to pursue through the courts. We will also be appealing to the business community as well as the larger public to contribute financially for the court cases.

 

To this end, we have opened an account with Rahim Khan Attorneys for public contributions and pledge to fully account to the public for the funds they will hopefully contribute. Special thanks to the team of attorneys who have been handling all the legal issues on behalf of the party at no charge for their services. We do however need to raise funds and cushion them against excessive costs for their law firms.”

Cartoon

Polls

Do you think the closure of BCL will compel SPEDU to double their efforts in creating job opportunities in the Selibe Phikwe?

banner_14.jpg
banner_12.jpg

POPULER BRANDS