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We have bust corruption – Khama

Despite the national uproar of alleged corruption and embezzlement of public funds, President Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian has said when he steps down next year March; he will leave behind a government that is totally against corruption and maladministration.

The outgoing president stated this view when delivering a key note address at the United Nations International Anti Corruption Day commemoration in Gaborone recently.  Although his government has been heavily criticized for embezzlement of taxpayer’s money, nepotistic procurement and high profile corruption, President Khama has said Botswana has made great strides towards combating corruption.

He told attendants that amongst the achievement were “the high prosecution rate, as well as continuous anti-corruption awareness and prevention programmes for public officers and the general public.” According to the President it is worth celebrating that Botswana has consistently been ranked for the last two decades as the least corrupt country in Africa by the global coalition against corruption; Transparency International (TI) . “We are also ahead of most developed countries in this index as No. 35 in the world out of 176 assessed countries in this regard.”

Khama said his government has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that it has a speedy reaction towards combating corruption. “As further demonstration of my country’s political will for the fight against corruption, in 2013 the Government of Botswana established a Corruption Court to speed up cases of corruption,” he said.  He added that the Directorate on Corruption & Economic Crime (DCEC) was a critical stakeholder of the Criminal Justice Forum, which ensures efficiency and effectiveness in the country’s criminal justice system.

The DCEC, the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), the Competition Authority (CA) and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) are mainly labelled toothless by critics; but that notwithstanding, the institutions remain President Khama’s pride, as according to him they are some of the contributing factors towards the good governance and accolades Botswana  receive in that respect. “Other countries continue to see Botswana as a good example in the fight against corruption, especially in the sub-Saharan region.

The president said this was evidenced by among others; states continued benchmarking trips to Botswana. “Additionally, some of our immediate, as well as near neighbours have visited Botswana’s public institutions and Law Enforcement Agencies. During these visits, significant time has also been spent at our anti-corruption Agency to get insight into the country’s strategy on anti-corruption,” he said.

However, President Khama also acknowledged that corruption existed and was a cause for concern. “Corruption also exists in the employment sector where positions for employment are secured through unscrupulous means. The construction sector is another area of concern for corruption. In this sector, there is an emerging trend whereby some government project-implementing officials connive with contractors to swindle government millions of Pula through approval of inflated claims and sub-standard work.”

Khama observed that corruption distorted equitable allocation of vital services to citizens, and the poor and other vulnerable people felt the brunt the most. “These groups are more reliant on public services and if officials solicit bribes from them in order to assist them, it means they can never enjoy the public services meant for all. If left unchecked, corruption can slowly bring the economy to its knees, and eventually lead to social inequality and exclusion.”   

Meanwhile, critics have labelled Khama‘s administration as the most corrupt regime in the history of Botswana. His corruption busting schemes, it has been agued only target low ranking public officers, while high ranking officials get away with multi million pula corrupt deals.
There has been constant call for the review of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) which has been labelled a notorious and rogue institution.

Dr Phenyo Butale Gaborone Central legislator observed at a policy discussion at a different forum that the DIS was given a black cheque “we should address the DIS before it messes up our fiscals and lend us into economic crises, millions are pumped into this organization without account and monitoring,” he said.  

The DIS has been accused of smuggling of high profile drugs, illegal trading of diamonds, extra judicial killings as per media reports, although the agency has hence since rubbished all the accusations as malicious and unsubstantial. When appearing before the parliament committee on statutory bodies & public enterprise in previous sittings Director General of the DIS Colonel Isaac Kgosi usually avoids commentary on issues levelled against his organization on the basis of security reasons. “We are an intelligence services agency, our operations and expenditures remains highly classified,” Kgosi was quoted as saying on numerous occasions.

Further, speaking in an interview with WeekendPost this week Dr Butale cried foul over oversight institutions that he labelled toothless and incapacitated. He cited parliament which he highlighted lacked resources and autonomy to carry out its oversight role. “If you look at the three branches of government, the separation of power is just theoretical.

The judiciary is captured by the executive, DCEC, Ombudsman, and other anti corruption institutions are engulfed by the office of the President, and they are not independent in carrying their mandate,” he highlighted.He said that parliament which heads the legislature and makes laws had no budget and no research capacity. He argued Botswana needed to restructure oversight institutions and give them clear autonomous mandates.

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DPP drops Kably threat to kill case

22nd March 2023

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/Lephephe Liakat Kably has welcomed the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s decision not to prosecute BDP councillor, Meshack Tshenyego who allegedly threatened to kill him. However, the legislator has warned that should anything happen to his life, the state and the courts will have to account.

In an interview with this publication, Kablay said he has heard that the DPP has declined to prosecute Tshenyego in a case in which he threatened to kill him adding that the reasons he received are that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. “I am fine and at peace with the decision not to prosecute over evidential deficits but I must warn that should anything happen to my life both the DPP and the Magistrate will have to account,” Kablay said.

Connectedly, Kably said he has made peace with Tshenyego, “we have made peace and he even called me where upon we agreed to work for the party and bury the hatchet”.

The DPP reportedly entered into a Nolle Prosequi in the matter, meaning that no action would be taken against the former Letlhakeng Sub-district council chairperson and currently councillor for Matshwabisi.

According to the charge sheet before the Court, councilor Tshenyego on July 8th, 2022 allegedly threatened MP Kably by indirectly uttering the following words to nominatedcouncilor Anderson Molebogi Mathibe, “Mosadi wa ga Liakat le ban aba gagwe ba tsile go lela, Mosadi wame le banake le bone ba tsile go lela. E tla re re mo meeting, ka re tsena meeting mmogo, ke tla mo tlolela a bo ke mmolaya.”

Loosely translated this means, Liakat’s wife and children are going to shed tears and my wife and kids will shed tears too. I will jump on him and kill him during a meeting.

Mathibe is said to have recorded the meeting and forwarded it to Kably who reported the matter to the police.

In a notice to the Magistrate Court to have the case against Tshenyego, acting director of Public Prosecutions, Wesson Manchwe  cited the nolle prosequi by the director of public prosecution in terms of section 51 A (30) of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana as reasons for dropping the charges.

A nolle prosequi is a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.

“In pursuance of my powers under section 51 A (300 of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana, I do hereby stop and discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused Meshack Tshenyego in the Kweneng Administrative District, CR.No.1077/07/2022 being the case of the State vs Tshenyego,” said Manchwe. The acting director had drafted the notice dropping the charges on 13th day of March 2023.

The case then resumed before the Molepolole Magistrate Solomon Setshedi on the 14th of March 2023. The Magistrate issued an order directing “that matters be withdrawn with prejudice to the State, accused is acquitted and discharged.”

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DPP seizes prosecution duties from Police

22nd March 2023

Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has finally taken over prosecution from the Botswana Police Service (BPS). The police have been prosecuting for years, but the takeover means that they will now only focus on investigations and then hand over to the DPP for prosecution.

Talks of complete takeover began as far back as 2008, but for years it seemed implementation was sluggish. However, the Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni, revealed that the complete takeover is expected to be completed soon.

During a presentation to the Committee of Supply by Shamukuni this week, it was revealed that the project has been implemented in 22 police stations nationwide, including Maun, Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Francistown, and Kasane. He further stated that the project has been allocated P3,000,000 for the 2023/2024 financial year to facilitate the opening of more satellite offices for the DPP.

Shamukuni said the Lobatse station is scheduled for a complete takeover by the end of May 2023, while the Kasane DPP satellite office has been established and became operational as of February 1, 2023.

“As reported previously, preparations are at an advanced stage to open a satellite office in Tsabong to curtail expenses, as well as frequent long-distance trips to these areas, as it is currently serviced by the Lobatse DPP office,” Shamukuni said.

Shamukuni said that the takeover strategy is to enable a seamless and gradual takeover of prosecution from the BPS without overwhelming and overstretching the thin resources at its disposal.

According to Shamukuni, the implementation of the prosecution takeover project has increased the workload of the 211 prosecutors in the DPP establishment.

Furthermore, the Justice Minister said DPP statistics show that the DPP has a total of 11,903 cases and dockets as of January 2023. He indicated that this is a significant increase in the number of cases being handled by the DPP, considering that in November 2021, the DPP had just over 8,471 files.

“Out of the total case load, 8 382 are cases pending before various courts while 3521 are dockets received from law enforcement agencies of which 1 325 are awaiting service of summons while the rest are being assessed for suitability of prosecution or otherwise” said Shamukuni.

He further stated that The DPP has consistently maintained an 80% success rate in matters completed at court.

“As at the end of January 2023, the success rate stood at 82.3% against a target of 90% whilst the average performance in respect of turnaround time for conclusion of cases at court stood at 17.5 months against a target of 18 months,” he said.


Meanwhile, Minister Shamukuni has revealed that Gaborone land Tribunal is experiencing a backlog of cases. Before parliament this week, Shamukuni revealed that a total 230 appeals were completed for the period of April 2022- December 2022 and only 76.5% of them were completed within set time frame.

The minister said that the Gaborone division has experiencing a backlog of cases due to manpower constraints and he further indicated that presiding officers from other divisions have been brought in to expedite case disposal.

He further indicated that the land tribunal is a specialized court that has been empowered to resolve appeals arising from land boards. “It has been mandated to determine appeals from the decisions of Physical planning committees of Districts Councils” said Shamukuni.

Land Tribunal relocated to the Ministry of Justice from Ministry of Land and Water Affairs in November 2022.

“An amount of P37, 842,670 is requested to cover salaries, allowance and other operational expenses for the Department of the land Tribunal,” alluded Shamukuni

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BCP, AP stalemate in 7 constituencies

21st March 2023

When the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Alliance for Progressives, Botswana Labour Party (BLP), and conveners reconvene next week, the controversial issue of allocation of the seven constituencies will be the main topic of discussion, WeekendPost can reveal.

Not only that, but the additional four constituencies will also dominate the talks. The idea is to finally close the “constituency allocation phase,” which has proven to be the most difficult part of the ongoing negotiations.

Earlier this year, the two parties announced that the marathon talks would be concluded by February. Even at a media briefing last month, BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile and Publicity Secretary Dr. Mpho Pheko were optimistic that the negotiations would be concluded before the end of February.

However, it is now mid-March and the talks have yet to be concluded. What could be the reasons for the delay? This is a question that both Kekgonegile and Pheko have not responded to, as they have ignored the reporters’ inquiries. However, a senior figure within the party has confided to this publication as to what is delaying the highly anticipated negotiations.

“We are reconvening next week to finalize constituency allocations, taking into account the additional four new ones plus the outstanding seven,” he explained. It later surfaced that Gaborone Central, Gaborone North, Mogoditshane, Tswapong North, Francistown West, Tati West, and Nata Gweta are all contested by both BCP and AP. This is because the other 50 constituencies were allocated by December of last year.

The three parties have failed to find common ground for the Bosele Ward by-elections. Are these constituencies not a deal breaker for the talks? “None of the constituencies is a deal breaker,” responded a very calm BCP official.

In Bosele Ward, AP has yielded to BCP, despite most of its members disapproving the decision. On the other hand, BLP has refused, and it will face off with BCP together with Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The decision by BLP to face off with BCP has been labelled as a false start for the talks by political observers.

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