Seven men charged with murder have breathed a sigh of relief after the Francistown High Court discharged and acquitted them from the charge.
The septet; Ditiro Dikgafela, Sizisani Dube, Felix Moyo, Khulekani Maphosa, Nkemisang Tiro, Perfect Moyo and William Thembiso Moyo were facing possible capital punishment if found guilty. The state alleges that the accused persons and two others who were not before court, between 23 and 24 March 2015 at Mokgalo cattle post near Kutamogoree, acting and with common purpose unlawfully assaulted Botshelo Moyo thereby inflicting injuries that caused his death on the 28th of March 2015 and accordingly that they murdered him.
The defendants were accused of murdering Moyo after they accused him of stealing a cell phone. All the seven accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. Handing down judgement, Judge Gaongalelwe Ketlogetswe said there is no evidence as to when or where each of the accused persons was arrested by the police in connection with the case.
“According to the evidence of Sub-Inspector Masubi, during the course of his investigations in this matter, and after the death of Moyo on 28 March 2015, but specifically after 2 April 2015, he met Chikadzi Tiro who told him that when she was at Mokgalo cattle post she saw Khulekani Maphosa and other Zimbabwean nationals assaulting the deceased and also pouring hot water on him,” Ketlogetswe said.
He further stated that another state witness; Tiyapo Otukile did not put names of the people whom he said assaulted Moyo in his police statement but only mentioned the names in his evidence before court. Ketlogetswe mentioned that the state seeks to rely on the evidence of Tiro but in his view Tiro’s evidence, is so unreliable and discredited that no reasonable tribunal might convict on it.
“The state also seeks to rely on the evidence of Otukile but it has its challenges. It has to be remembered that the statement of a person since deceased, as to who may have caused their death, is generally inadmissible except where it can be adjudged to qualify as a dying declaration. This is to safeguard against false incrimination,” Ketlogetswe pointed out in his lengthy judgement.
He buttressed that if what is alleged to have been said by the deceased is to be regarded as an indicator of who his assailants were, and then there would be need to reconcile the evidence of Otukile and Sub Inspector Maswabi. Ketlogetswe explained that the evidence of the two witnesses is contradictory in relation to six of the accused persons and only corroborative in only one of them.
The court further held that the statement attributed to the deceased as to who his assailants were, is inadmissible. The Judge indicated that there was no evidence that connects the accused persons to the deceased. “The state has failed to prove its case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt and they are all discharged and acquitted,” Ketlogetswe concluded.
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.
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.
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.