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Khama takes Masisi to court

Publishing Date : 20 May, 2019

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

The ongoing feud between former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi is now heading to court, WeekendPost can exclusively reveal.  Fresh information gathered by this publication this week shows that Khama has written a Statutory Notice to Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe, dated April 26th, giving government chief lawyer 30 days to respond.


 Government is yet to serve a response, according to lawyers who represent Khama, Ramalepa Attorneys.  The statutory notice bears reference: Notice in terms of section 4 in terms of legal proceedings (Civil actions by or against government or public officers) Act (Chapter 10:01): In re- legal proceedings to be instituted by his Excellency the former President of the Republic of Botswana Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama.


The cause of action is stated as “the repeated and continued unlawful failure and refusal to avail the former President access to the use of Government owned modes of transport (and in particular aircraft and boat transportation), a clear and flagrant violation and contravention of the Presidents (Pensions and retirements benefits) Act, (Chapter 02:03), and the amendment thereto (hereinafter “the law”), and on the ostensible basis that no aircraft and boat transportation was available.”


Khama gave his notice of intention in terms of section 4 of the State Proceedings (Actions by or Against Government or Public Officers) Act (“the law”), to institute legal proceedings after the expiration of one month next after receipt of this notice against the government, the President, the Permanent Secretary to the President and Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service and/ or any other party as may become necessary to cite.


According to the notice former President Ian Khama’s statutory entitlements, rights and/ or benefits under section 6 (b) of the Presidents (Pensions and retirement benefits) Act, as amended, with respect to local air travel, have been consistently violated by the President, Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) or Office of the President and effectively by government of Botswana since the former President vacated office of the President.


The notice also made mention that Khama sought to use aircraft and boat under cover letters dated 24th September 2018, 13th December 2018, 24th December 2018, 15th January 2019, 24 January 2019, 19th March 2019, 9th April 2019, 17th April 2019, and 18th April 2019 respectively. “On each occasion the access to use of owned modes of transportation sought was either ignored or unlawfully denied”.


Khama also wrote to the Attorney General that he was furnished with a savingram authored by PSP dated 26th February 2019 concerning his trip to Dharamsala, India from 8- 12 March 2019.  “The said savingram made it plain that the Government will not ‘facilitate’ the said trip to India. The savingram was understood by Khama to mean that the Government of Botswana intends to deny him his international travel benefit to the extent that the Government of Botswana is obliged to finance such international travel. The Government also refused to pay Khama per diem for the international trip aforesaid.


It is understood that as a result former President Ian Khama incurred costs in the sum of ZAR73, 047. 00 for flight tickets for a return trip from Johannesburg to Deli, and USD11, 270. 00 to charter an aircraft from Deli to Dharamsala. Further Khama was entitled to a per diem allowance in the sum of BWP10, 732. 94. The notice state that Khama should the government should be re- imbrues him all afore said expenses. The notice also sought that the government withdraw all the disciplinary charges against all security officers so charged, within one calendar month from date of receipt of the notice.


Furthermore the notice invites government, within the period of the notice to engage with the former President with a view of reaching a sustainable agreement on the reasonable terms upon which Khama will be availed access to use of government owned modes of transport (in particular aircraft and boat transportation). In the event that the matters raised in the notice are not resolved within the notice period, Khama will institute legal proceedings against the Attorney General and seek relief including but not limited to the orders they have advanced.

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