Regional Magistrate Christopher Gabanagae has called on the wife to the late Ombudsman, Magdeline Motshwane Maine to answer for charges of corruption in a case where she tried to bribe an investigating officer in exchange of a file in which she was being investigated for seven plots illegally acquired.
Maine and Investigating Police Officer Philip Moeng were on June 8, 2013 arrested at Nkoyaphiri in possession of P25 000 and a file from the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). The file was for investigations carried on Maine regarding the seven plots that she allegedly acquired corruptly. She was consequently charged with corrupting a public officer.
Maine had at the end of the prosecution case last year, applied for a ‘no case to answer’. She cited reasons that the P25 000 was not verified at the Bank of Botswana as the legal tender or money. Delivering a ruling on the ‘no case to answer’ on Thursday, Magistrate Gabanagae ruled that, “I tend to agree with the prosecution submissions that even if the P25 000 was not verified as legal tender, it falls under the provisions of Section 42 of the Criminal Evidence Act.”
The said section provides that: where in any proceedings for an offence under part IV, it is proved that consideration shall be presumed to have been offered and accepted as such inducement or reward, as is alleged in the particulars of the offence unless the contrary is proved. “The state has established a prima facie case against Maine,” he said, and instructed her to appear for continuation of trial in July to give evidence.
The court heard that Maine met with the officer at Nkoyaphiri mall as they had planned. Other officers approached them immediately after the exchange. An independent witness was called to witness the search by other officers. The witness told the court that before the search began; Maine produced a khaki envelope and gave it to the officers. The envelope, she said contained a file written Motshwane M…a file in which Maine was allegedly being investigated for seven plots which she is alleged to have corruptly bought from a Land Board official and was issued customary land certificates in the names of relatives she produced to the Land Board.
The land fraud case she was initially investigated for dates as far back as 2004 whereby 200 plots were transferred illegally for millions of pulas. Allegations are further that, Maine would target the elderly people at the village promising to register them under insurances.
She would as such take their identity cards and give them to her alleged partners in crime at Mogoditshane Land Board where plots would be corruptly allocated to the said names. She would later, make the elders to sign some forms agreeing to sell their plots to certain people and exchange the plots ownership.
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.