Veteran trade unionist and Botswana Manual Workers Union leader, Johnson Motshwarakgole this week invoked nationalistic arguments, warning President of Court of Appeal, Ian Kirby to move to the broadside while natives work to salvage their country.
Motshwarakgole further stated that since Kirby has amassed enough wealth for himself, he should excuse himself and stand down lest their paths collide, as unions labour to salvage the country. “And you know what; I think its high time…Kirby…those who saw him say he came from Zimbabwe with two trousers in a trunk. He has worked. He has Mokolodi. He has everything. He shouldn’t make it come to a point where we and he fight over protecting Botswana. We wish to fight to protect the judiciary with the likes of (Justice Monametsi) Gaongalelwe, (Justice Isaac) Lesetedi and others…”
“We don’t wish to fight to protect Botswana’s judiciary with Kirby, we are simply saying, he has worked and he can go and ‘eat’ in peace. He mustn’t bring us the trouble of making it seem like we are discriminating against him.” Motshwarakgole boomed. He further noted that it was needless of Kirby to halt the proceedings of the Court of Appeal as there are High Court Justices who by extension automatically function as Court of Appeal judges.
“Remember, when interpreting the law, it’s very clear that when you appoint a High Court judge they automatically become judge of the Court of Appeal and it’s unnecessary for him to have shut down the Court of Appeal because judges are there. These are Kirby’s things and that’s why we are saying we don’t know where the other gentleman is (Maruping Dibotelo.).And we won’t leave these things hanging.” he affirmed.
He further related an example of Basotho ejecting a Minister of Information who was of Xhosa extraction, when turmoil burst forth in that country. “In Lesotho when turmoil erupted there was a certain minister called Sixisi. He was a Minister of Information. A very powerful Xhosa Minister! Basotho got hold of him and took him to the Maluti Mountains and reminded him that we are having a division of opinion and differences as Basotho. Leave us alone. And saying to Kirby, I’m warning him. Leave us alone; we are having disagreements.” He further advised that Kirby and Jeff Ramsay should excuse themselves.
“Leave us alone so that we fix our country. Excuse yourself. When trouble brews, a country should be left to its natives to fix it. I’m warning the other white one at Office of the President…that even if you are an in-law, sons’ in-law do not get entangled in their parents’ in-law’s matters. Especially when they are fighting! Excuse yourselves! Leave us to fight our problems. It seems we are facing constitutional problems.”
Motshwarakgole stated that they are bothered by issues of localisation in the Court of Appeal while there are plenty of enlightened Batswana who can take up the jobs. “Note that it’s very true that the constitution of Botswana is very clear that judges retire at 70. At 70 it says that they will be extended with a 3 year term. There were whites here who had been extended with more than two 3 year terms. We say that they should go and make way for others. What as BOFEPUSU we are trying to do is fix the judiciary and put it in the hands of rightful people. We have paid tax and schooled our children and we should see them doing their jobs.”
“We are saying that white people who have retired at their countries and cannot be admitted to the bar cannot come here. They have retired and moved over for their children and they are brought here by Kirby to take our children’s positions. We are saying no!” Motshwarakgole also stated that Kirby has no right to bring proceedings of the Court of Appeal to a halt, because it is only the Chief Justice who has such powers. He further said that Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo is missing in action while the country descends deeper into chaos.
“Justice Kirby is not Chief Justice. Our argument is that no one can wake up and say I have closed Court. Not even the president can’t say that. You should be mindful that we are in trouble and that we are descending further. Chief Justice is the leader of the Judicature and we do not know where he is holed up. We also don’t know where Kirby emerged.”
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.