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Police to be stripped of prosecutorial powers

Minister of Defence Justice and Security (MDJS), Shaw Kgathi is irked by piling cases at the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP). The minister is also troubled by the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) sloppiness in case management.  

A number of cases including high profile cases have been with the DPP for some time now but updates have yet to be shared regarding them. The DPP has generally been accused of sitting on high profile cases involving politicians and public officers.     
Recently, the Attorney General, Abraham Keetshabe was criticized by various quarters including Law Society of Botswana (LSB) over claims that he told the president that ministers are “free from prosecution” as long as he is the AG. The AG chambers however later issued a rebuttal.  

At a security council late last month, minister Kgathi revealed that there were close to 15 000 cases found during an auditing process, of which some have not been formally closed yet. “The data analysis established that out of 14 817 cases found during auditing, some of the cases were not formally closed though they had been completed at court and thus substantially increasing the numbers classified as backlog.”

The minister revealed that he has as a result asked the Registrar and Master of the High Court to device ways and means of fast tracking all cases identified as ‘backlog’ that are already registered with various courts. Despite the minister’s remarks, the DPP is of the view that the backlog has significantly been reduced. According to the DPP and AG Chambers files, “Criminal cases reduced from 10 309 to 10 271. These are made up of 5,327 cases which are before the courts and 4, 944 which are still being assessed. Civil cases also reduced from 7000 to 3 36.”

The minister, as part of remedial action was also forced to transfer prosecutorial functions from Botswana Police Service (BPS) to DPP for better management, WeekendPost has learnt. Further, the ministry was forced to recruit a retired prosecutor early this year to help speed up the process of reducing the backlog. “The data clearing operation has shown high workload ratio per prosecutor and an imbalance in the allocation and distribution of cases,” he told the council.

The minister further added: “To address this, the DPP has started a process of offloading prosecutors with high cases to those with less case. One retired prosecutor has been engaged on contract terms starting July to alleviate this.”  Besides this, the DPP is in the process of opening additional offices in Selibe Phikwe this year to ease congestion in the already existing offices. According to records seen by this paper, Botswana Police Services has 6 625 cases aged 18 months which they submitted to DPP for prosecution but have yet to be tried. The BPS has since introduced waybill registers to account for cases submitted to and from DPP to avoid any clash in future.

To facilitate this, Criminal Justice Forum advised that mutually reinforcing the process between the police, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the DPP should be done. This will also include cases under investigation and ready for prosecution.


The Administration of Justice (AOJ) which is also grappling with a backlog of cases has procured equipment for real time recording and reporting as a way of reducing the load. The piloting and roll out of the equipment, will be implemented in the second quarter at Gaborone high Court division, this publication has learnt.

The minister also revealed that during a human trafficking training earlier on, the 17 judges and 47 magistrates present were also sensitised on the need for all actors in the AOJ to develop systems for dealing with backlog cases. Further, the AOJ has opened additional Magistrates courts in Kang, Shakawe and Nata. “The effect of this has been the reduction of the workload in the Courts, especially those coming from Lobatse and Francistown respectively.” The defence ministry will be the busiest in the coming parliamentary session where a number of bills will be debated. Further, the ministry will conclude some military deals they agreed with other countries.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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