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Law Society Appeals against Parks Tafa

The Law Society of Botswana has this week challenged the High Court’s judgement in a case in which highly rated lawyer, Parks Tafa and lawfirm, Collins Newman and Company (CNC) had dragged LSB, The Secretary of the Fidelity Guarantee Fund, The Deputy Registrar of the High Court – Takura Charumbira, Master of the High Court, Registrar of the High Court, and one George Simango to the High Court.

Parks Tafa and CNC were fighting to be put back on the legal practitioner’s roll as well as to be issued with Practicing Certificates and Fidelity Fund Certificates.  The LSB had struck them off the roll indicating that they failed to produce audited reports.  The law firm had been placed under curatorship at some stage.Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court in Lobatse, Takura had temporarily interdicted Tafa from transacting the trust accounts of his law firm pending the matter. The decision had followed after the decision of the LSB not to award Tafa practice license for this year and sought that they be placed under curatorship.

According to Tafa it seems the firm faced difficulties in its new accounting and management therefore the challenges could not be resolved in time to meet the deadline for submission of audited accounts for the year 2018 which caused the report to be submitted in February 2019. In their submissions supported by findings and conclusions of the auditors there was a challenge in their accounting and management records in which Chief Justice Lekorwe agreed that there seems to be no omission on the part of Tafa to mismanage accounts of CNC like the LSB had purported.

Tafa and Collins Newman and Company were represented by Advocate Paul Kennedy alongside attorneys Ms Makati-Mpho and Ms KT Kebotse; while the Law Society of Botswana was represented by Advocate John Peter with Advocate M Garebatho and Attorney Mr K Botlhole. Lobatse High Court Judge, R. N. M. Lekorwe ruled that the decision of the third respondent is ordered to issue CNN with Fidelity Funds certificates for the year 31st December.

 Lekorwe further ruled that Tafa and CNN are entitled to confirmation of the rule of nisi by the court  indicating that there is sufficient evidence on record that indicate that the applicant meet the requirements for issuance of both Fidelity Fund certificates and Practicing certificates. The case was dismissed with costs of Counsel.

The grounds of appeal of the LSB indicate that the court misdirected itself and made an error in implicitly finding, “the judgement reads that where auditors, do not report that the trust accounts of an attorney were not properly kept or do not report that the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act relating to the requirement that the trust accounts be certified as having been properly kept were violated.”

LSB claims that the court quo ought to have found that for the requirements of section 30(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act to be satisfied, a certified copy of the of the actual audited accounts of an attorney’s trust accounts must be furnished and same must be certified as having been properly kept. It futher indicates that the court should have not issued the applicant with practicing certificates whilst a certified copy of the audited accounts of the trust accounts as required by section 30 of the Legal Practioners Act.

LSB further challenges the court’s decision to invoke the powers of the master as prescribed under section 45 as the jurisdictional facts were absent whilst the Registrar had in fact removed the applicant from the roll which falls within the rubric of section 45 of the legal; practitioners act. The appellants further seek the relief of the appeal to be upheld costs, including the costs of two counsel and that that the court set aside in its entirety and replaced with an order, “the application is dismissed with costs, including of two counsel.”

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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