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State says it will press ahead with sedition charges against Mokone

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Thursday morning indicated that it would press sedition charges against Sunday Standard Editor Outsa Mokone.

State Prosecutor, Bathusi Brown – who was standing in for the substantive prosecutor – Wesson Manchwe, told Gaborone Chief Magistrate Faith Ngandu that they would go ahead with criminal charges against Mokone. The decision by the DPP comes three months after the Court of Appeal (CoA) refused to address Mokone’s application challenging the constitutionality of the sedition charge. The Court of Appeal declined to make a ruling on the constitutionality of sedition saying the lower court’s case against Mokone was likely to be dropped because it had prescribed.

The thinking in the media and legal circles was that the DPP would withdraw the sedition charges against Mokone. However, the DPP argues that the Court of Appeal has not made a pronouncement that the sedition charges be withdrawn. Following a debate between the prosecutor and the defence attorney Karabo Masuku from Bayford’s and Associates on the position of the court of Appeal regarding the charge, the two sides agreed that the case be adjourned to 17th April 2018 on which date the substantive prosecutor will give the court a progress report and confirm if the DPP is going ahead with the sedition charges against Mokone.

The sedition case arises out of a newspaper report published in 2014 that former President Ian Khama (president then) was involved in a car accident while driving alone at night, a report which has since been denied by the president’s office. The delay earlier this year to proceed with the matter was laudable, if probably rooted in sloth, and should have been followed with moves to repeal sedition and similar laws that impede the democratic process.

The astonishing expression of intent to reinstate the charges this week was improbable because it flies in the face of progress in the course of democracy. While the delay that led to the matter being disposed of was a vindication of journalism as a vital tool of democracy, reinstatement is vindictive and smacks of a government implacable, vengeful and spiteful in the extreme. This is not the means by which any government should want to relate with citizens in the world in the 21st Century.

Needless to say, MISA Botswana urges a repeal of all rancorous laws (or some sections thereof) from our statute books, among them; Penal Code, National Security Act, Cyber Crime and Computer Related Crimes Act, Protected Areas and Places Act, DCEC Act, Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Trade Unions and Employers Organisations Act. This is certainly the means by which Botswana can stand firmly and proudly in the comity of progressive nations, and certainly the means by which President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration should want to earn the confidence of Batswana

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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