Gaborone High Court Justice Dr. Zain Kebonang granted murder accused Mochudi Apostolic Faith Mission Pastor, Mooketsi Mogomotsi bail this Friday.
The glass-eyed Mogomotsi stands accused of soliciting the murder of his wife Dianah Ompelege Mogomotsi. He was arrested on 3rd of April and slapped with the murder charge on the 5th. In ventilating his arguments Mogomotsi’s attorney Karabo Masuku stated that they had argued at the lower court that Mogomotsi is a pastor and a community leader. He furthered by stating that he also, by virtue of being a pastor, is a marriage officer and offers marriage counseling sessions.
He also argued that Mogomotsi is the sole guardian to his children, he is a Motswana and that he needs constant care and medical attention for his injuries. Furthermore, he noted that the prosecution will suffer no prejudice as they have already searched Mogomotsi’s residence and have in their possession all the evidence they deem important to their case. “They stand to suffer no prejudice because they had already searched his house and are in custody of all evidence they wish to have.” Masuku postulated.
Masuku further argued that there will be a real risk that the disgraced clergyman can be jailed for an offence he hasn’t committed if he his incarceration continues, arguing that the Investigating Officer relied merely on suspicion when arresting the Mogomotsi. However, Justice Kebonang granted bail to Mogomotsi on amended conditions that he report to the police every fortnight. He further stated in his conditions that Mogomotsi surrender his travel documents to the police and if he wants to travel abroad he can make a request to the Mochudi police station commander.
The prosecution had earlier requested that Mogomotsi be liberated on a P2000 bail amount with sureties each paying the same amount and that he report to the police each Friday. However, Kebonang responded to the prosecution that “it is either you want to give him bail or you don’t.” Moreover, he stated that he was guided by the principle of innocent until proven guilty. He also took offence with media reporting on the case stating that he views recent media reports in a dim view as they had sought to influence public opinion.
“The media can build or break a society and now the whole commentary about the pastor is a negative one. You even wonder if there is an agenda behind that. The publication has been brought to my attention and the whole idea is to paint the accused in a negative light but the constitution states that one is guilty unless proven guilty,” Kebonang stated amidst affirmative murmurs from Mogomotsi’s supporters. Mogomotsi’s supporters had filled the Gaborone courtroom to capacity and engaged in warm embraces, celebrating the freedom of their pastor. Outside the court they burst into song.
Kebonang however stated that his decision should not be read with suspicion. “I also want to make something clear. I sit here with an open mind. I am not being insensitive to the plight of others. I am loyal to the constitution and I am alive to what has been written and it doesn’t affect me anyhow. I don’t want you to leave here and think that I was sensitive or insensitive to others. I am guided by the principle of innocent until proven otherwise by court. The court admitted Mogomotsi to pail on his own recognisance and ordered him not to interfere with any state witnesses or any ongoing investigations. He was also ordered not to commit any offence or similar offence while on bail.
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.