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Pilane appeals Boko’s case “a night before ruling”

In an unprecedented turn of events, Advocate Sidney Pilane on behalf of objector John Siele has filed for a stay of execution application “a night before ruling.” Although the ruling on principal residence went ahead, the stay of execution case is consequently expected to be heared this Monday at the High Court.

Confidential court documents passed to Weekend Post in a fresh case on Friday this week, suggest that Siele and his lawyer Pilane want High Court to rule to stay any decision by the Chief Magistrate, Gaborone Village. They want “a stay of execution on their objections pending the hearing and determination by High court, and in the event of an appeal by the Court of Appeal, of the review applications brought by themselves.”

In addition, they want court to “take notice that the Chief Magistrate be called upon to refrain from making any decision on the objections of the applicants pending the hearing and final end and determination of the application for stay hereby made, by the above Honourable court.” In the court papers, Siele, Tabane and attorney Thembani Jeremiah Siele represented by Ramalepa attorneys filed affidavits that will be used in support of the application.

The stay of execution application comes before and after Duma Boko, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader was triumphant in a case which questioned his principal residence. Village Court Magistrate Goodwill Makofi ruled on Friday that he (Boko) was rightful registered for the 2019 General Elections in Phase 2 which is his principal residence under the circumstances and not Tlokweng.

However, a night before judgement, Pilane filed the stay of execution matter as an urgent application although he lost the judgement to Boko the following day. According to Boko’s lawyer, Dick Bayford, what is strange is that the stay of execution application has been noticed although the magistrate court decision on the matter is final.

“The ruling is final. That is what the law says. In fact Pilane even mentioned it that he wanted the court to stop Boko because he knew once the court has made the ruling, it will be final and binding,” Bayford told Weekend Post exclusively after the principal residence judgement.  
Bayford added that at court he (Pilane) wants “stay” though in the common sense the court ruled that Boko is rightful registered in Phase 2, Gaborone, and it’s his principal residence, and nothing would change it.   

He further explained that what would normally happen in court is that a party or individual will wait for a court decision to be made and then complain about that decision thereafter, and not how Pilane and Siele has done. “It’s just logical to wait for court ruling,” he stressed.
What has happened about this particular case, he explained, is that even before the judgement of the court was delivered, as the case was registered on Thursday, before ruling, Siele/Pilane goes to the High Court to ask for stay of the ruling.

“This happened while it was entirely possible that the court could rule in Siele’s favour. He is seeking for a stay of the ruling of the Magistrate court. Supposing it was ruled on his favour, was he still going to ask for his stay. That is where the absurdity of the application stems from,” Bayford pointed out.

According to the well-established lawyer, this has happened because interlocutory rulings are not appealable; and when you appeal an interlocutory order you must show that it is dispositive of the whole case. You also have to show that you have reasonable prospects of success; and seek leave or permission of the court, he highlighted.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.


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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.


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