The Botswana Democratic (BDP) disciplinary committee has indefinitely postponed the much anticipated disciplinary hearing involving over 30 members of the ruling party mostly comprising of councilors who are facing possible expulsion from the party after attending the infamous Serowe elders meeting held earlier this year.
Leading names in the list include the Tati East legislator Samson Moyo Guma and his acolyte Roseline Panzirah- Matshome. Panzirah-Matshome has confirmed that hearing, which was initially billed for the 15th of April in Gaborone did not materialized as anticipated. “I was told that the hearing has been postponed indefinitely by acting secretary Lesedi Dintwe. I had called him after waiting for about three hours for the hearing. I have no idea why it was postponed,” she said.
A close source to this publication has revealed that the concerned lot asked for the meeting to be moved from Gaborone to Serowe since most of the implicated members were based in Serowe. This was to prevent the distance of travelling to the capital. It is said that the disciplinary committee is yet to consider the request made by the New Jerusalem camp and the date for yet another hearing will be communicated.
The implicated members were expected to face the disciplinary committee led by Damian Thapa. When asked about this the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee Thapa could not confirm nor deny that the hearing had been postponed indicating that the hearing is an internal matter and therefore could not disclose any information. “I am constrained as the chairman, I cannot give out information now at this stage of the case therefore I cannot comment any further,” he added.
Meanwhile Tati East legislator and member of the Central Committee (CC) additional member have still not shown up after fleeing the country last month claiming that he had been tipped by security agents that his life was in danger. However his continued exile has brought uneasy within the party as failure to come back on time could frustrate efforts to haul him before the coals.
Guma is also facing disciplinary action for being the ring leader of dissenting members of the party who attended the infamous Serowe meeting which was not called by an ‘established organ of the party therefore illegitimate as per Article 43.5 of the party constitution’. The BDP leadership is said to have requested the Directorate of Intelligence Security (DIS) to try by all means to track down the outspoken MP so he can come and account for his actions.
“The thing is there is a believe that he is running away to buy time so that he is absolved from his actions and the party insists on him coming to explain his side of the story that is why they have pleaded with the intelligence to assist by locating him and possibly ensuring that he is in the country before the date set for hearing,” a BDP informant told WeekendPost.
Mpho Balopi, secretary general (SG) of the BDP had previously indicated that it was important for Guma to come and account lest the party will comply with the necessary processes against him, another reason why the hearing could have postponed. “He should just come for the hearing and avail his side of the story. If he doesn’t it would indirectly means he is judging himself, remember you are innocent until proven guilty.”
The SG had also indicated that it was impossible for the hearing to go on until Guma was traceable since he needed to be there to tell his side of the story. Guma is not new to drama with the BDP — in May 2015 he threatened to resign from BDP and Parliament after his accounts were frozen on account of some investigations into his business operations.
Guma resigned as BDP chairman in 2013, having defeated Venson-Moitoi for the position at the Maun elective congress earlier. Ahead of the BDP primaries in 2013 his relationship with some cabinet ministers deteriorated as claims and counter claims over the handling of primary elections emerged.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.