Three members of the Court of Appeal, Justices Monametsi Gaongalelwe, Justice Abednigo Tafa and Justice Jacobus Brand will decide on the fate of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) and its leader, Bishop Barnabas Edward Lekganyane after they appealed against the judgement of Lobatse High Court Justice Nthomiwa Nthomiwa.
Justice Nthomiwa had in his earlier ruling barred ZCC from holding disciplinary hearings against the seventeen church members who have been indicted for indiscipline after they went to court challenging the church particularly with regard to its running of affairs.
When they appeared before the panel of the three judges this week in Gaborone, their lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi of Ndadi Law Firm submitted that the appeal is at best vague, embarrassing and wanting and that Lekganyane and ZCC (appellants) failed to point out any misdirection on the part of the High court.
“We further submit that Justice Nthomiwa did a thorough analysis of the facts and the applicable law and that ultimately his decision was the correct one. He made factual findings against what the ZCC and Lekganyane (appellants) were contending and those findings stand and are not subject of this appeal,” Ndadi pointed out.
As regards to the appeal, Ndadi said their position, is that the appeal cannot succeed, and it is at best, an attempt to have a repeat of the hearing that was before Justice Nthomiwa. “The Appellants are in essence seeking a re-hearing, at an appellate court,” the lawyer stated in his heads of argument at the Court of Appeal.
The 17 members of the ZCC (respondents) were through a communication summoned to a disciplinary hearing on the 12th December 2015 by the church. They then communicated to the ZCC that they will not attend any disciplinary hearing without being furnished with the necessary details of the charges as they would not want to attend a hearing they are not adequately prepared for.
“This was on the 10th July 2015. But silence on the part of the ZCC ensued. Most of the 17 members, in September 2015, instituted an application seeking orders compelling the Respondents to comply with their constitutional obligations such as convening Annual General Meetings, presenting audited financial accounts, and appointing a person to lead the ZCC in Botswana,” Ndadi continued to point out in the papers.
Soon after the application was filed, he said Lekganyane and ZCC (the Appellants) resuscitated the charges and invited the 17 members to yet another disciplinary hearing. The Respondents then approached the court for interim interdicts, and were successful. At the crux of the appeal is whether the High Court was wrong in granting the orders that it did. The case has been adjourned to continue on 26 July 2018.
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.