The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) director, Stephen Tiroyakgosi says Batswana should not blame him for the cases dragging before the courts, saying his office is overwhelmed.
“The system is just overwhelmed. It is locked. There are people who are languishing in prison because the system is slow. Right now we are setting trial dates at August 2019,” said Tiroyakgosi. He added, “Crime is high. Batswana are delinquents!” The director told this publication in an interview on Wednesday that it was so disheartening that though his office was doing all they could, Batswana were not appreciative.
“Because people do not appreciate where we are coming from, they tend to look more at the so called high profile cases, in particular those relating to corruption. But there are a lot of other cases that individual Batswana are concerned about,” said Tiroyakgosi. He added, “Some parents would come here and inquire about the way their children’s cases were finalised! Cases like indecent assaults.”
“Some cases require specific approval of the director to issue a necessary certificate to say we proceed this way, either by giving consent to prosecute or giving a notice to commit a person for a murder trial or withdraw or close cases. We spend a lot of time on them.” On a given day Tiroyakgosi says he looks at 10-20 dockets with various recommendations as a director. The biggest challenge we have is the number of prosecutors against the dockets-he decries.
As at the end of June, DPP had a total of 8 142 dockets and cases that were in process, not including the ones prosecuted by the Botswana Police Service. Only 5 385 cases were processed up to trial stage at the time, while a balance of 2 604 were not ready for court. There were a total of 136 applications for extradition and requests for extradition and requests for mutual legal assistance in other countries and 17 applicants for restraints and forfeitures.
The DPP has six offices in Gaborone, Lobatse, Francistown, Selibe Phikwe, Palapye and Maun. On issues of being controlled by those in power, Tiroyakgosi said DPP is administratively part of Attorney General Chambers, “But in terms of the constitution we are not under direction of anybody in so far as the processing of dockets is concerned. “To the largest extent since I have been here last year August, I have not felt any pressure to do or not do.”
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.