Attorney representing dismissed members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for engaging in ‘unlawful’ relationship, Duma Boko got his way this week when Acting Judge Zein Kebonang ordered for arrest and detention of BDF Commander, Lt Gen Placid Segokgo for contempt of court.
With rarely six months as BDF commander, Segokgo find himself on the other side of the law at the hands of the esteemed attorney who is also the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader Duma Boko. On the 18 of November this year, after the case has dragged for few years, the Judge delivered a verdict which vindicated the BDF and ordered for their reinstatement with immediate effect.
It appears the duo ‘love birds’ were never reinstated as per Justice Kebonang’s ground breaking judgement released recently at the High Court. The duo; Thabang Tlhapisang and Kozondu Cisquo Uariaua were fired from the BDF for contravening the military’s Policy on Fraternisation and Sexual Harassment that’s forbids love affairs between BDF cadres of the same and different rankings.
According to the court papers seen by Weekend Post, Ag. Justice Kebonang delivered the order on Friday (yesterday) upon hearing attorney Duma Boko for the applicants (Tlhapisang and Uariaua) and having read the documents filed of record. According to the order the commander of the BDF Segokgo is hereby found to be ion contempt of court’ s decision of the 18th November 2016.
“A warrant of arrest is hereby issued for the immediate arrest and detention of the commander of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo,” Justice Kebonang ordered. The Acting Judge further ordered that the said Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo is to be detained with immediate effect for a period of 30 days.
“The police are hereby directed to carry out this order with immediate effect,” Judge Kebonang said while adding that the respondents (BDF) is to bear costs of the application on own attorney and client scale. However by the time of going for print, the BDF through their attorneys have argued in court against the order to arrest Segokgo.
They contended that the BDF Commander in chief and country President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama only have the powers as vested to him by the constitution to fire and reinstate commissioned officers. Therefore, they maintain he should be the one to reinstate the fired BDF cadres whom the court has called for their reinstatement.
Justice Kebonang arrived in the judicial arena with critics sceptical of his ability to deliver sound and independent judgements as he was seen emerging from the system particularly as his twin brother Sadique Kebonang is a cabinet minister in the government of the day. His call for arrest of the BDF commander is likely to face divergent reception from sectors in both government and elsewhere.
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.