President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ian Stuart Kirby has persuaded prominent and high educated residents of Gaborone North to amicably settle the standpipe dispute instead of fighting it out in court.
The case involves public figures in opposing camps including law maker for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa, former cabinet minister Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana Police Service spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa, Village Chief Magistrate Linah Mokibe-Oahile and other prominent attorneys living in the area. It is understood that at the centre of the dispute is the ownership and management of a water standpipe that provides portable water to the Gaborone North and Moshawa community.
Kirby was surprised that the high ranking personnel living in the suburban area of Gaborone North shockingly and astonishingly failed to resolve the dispute involving the use of the lucrative standpipe meant to supply the area. Gaborone North currently banks on the standpipe for water supply and it is said that the Trust accrues over P1.5 million yearly through use of the standpipe as there is domestic water connection/reticulation deficiencies in the area.
Kirby stated this week during the Court of Appeal session in the matter which has been dragging before court for years that “I am surprised that the town (Gaborone North) is split in high ranking and highly educated people but cannot solve this matter.” The Judge President had a word for both attorneys, as they were about to make arguments in the appeal, who he said are the biggest winners in the case, while the residents continue to suffer, persuading them to at least amicably resolve the issue – without a tedious and dragging court process.
The attorneys then came to their heads and drafted an order which was then handed over to the three empanelled Judges led by Kirby comprising Singh Lackvinda Walia as well as Zibani Makhwade that eventually settled the matter. It was as a result ordered that; “the parties agree that the existing primary pipeline constructed by Moshawa Water Development Trust and Kgosi Residency (Pty) Ltd shall be accessible to all residents of Moshawa” which eventually is expected to bring all the warring factions together.
It was also ordered that the management committee shall open a new bank account, once the handover has been completed, for purposes of management of the standpipe and the water reticulation project. In addition the parties agreed that the High Court action for the recovery of 1.5 million pula case be withdrawn.
The order also stated: “the Gaborone North Moshawa Community Trust shall hand all the monies generated from the standpipe, all relevant documents, including audited financial statements, as well as the management and control of the standpipe as well as the water reticulation project to the management committee within 60 days.”
Furthermore, Gaborone North/Moshawa Community Development Trust as well as the Moshawa Water Development Trust shall each nominate two representatives, at the management committee, to manage the standpipe situated at Moshawa for the benefit of the community, as well as to complete the water reticulation project at Moshawa, including ongoing works.
In the controversial court matter, former Botswana television (BTV) Executive producer and commissioning Editor, Linet Habana together with Siphiwe Mathendele and Khotso Lebatha were appealing the High Court judgement that interdicted and restraint them from performing their roles in the Moshawa Community Development Trust (respondents) which oversees the multimillion money-spinning standpipe. In the case Unoda Mack and Obrien Bvindi represented the appellants while Uyapo Ndadi stood in for the respondents, Gaborone North/Moshawa Community Development Trust.
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.