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Gabz Fm suspends Richardson

Privately owned radio station, Gabz fm, has this week suspended morning show wizard and host of famous “breakfast with Reg” Reginald Richardson.

The radio conjurer of the hard-hitting current affairs show was served with letters of suspension on Thursday together with his producer, Keikantse Shumba. Richardson, also known as Reggie, had his fans and sympathisers curious and asking about his whereabouts on Friday morning when he missed in action during his signature show.

""WeekendPost has gathered that the suspended duo who assemble the award winning current affairs breakfast show, Reggie and Shumba are accused of airing a recorded clip of the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, recruiting opposition members into the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) without giving the party “a right of reply” as per journalistic principles.

It is understood that objections from BDP heavy weights close to VP Masisi reached the desk of the station’s Managing Director, Lesego Komanyane. They complained about not being given the right of reply pertaining to the talk of the town recruitment clips which has been widely circulating on social media.   

Another issue that apparently prompted the suspension of Reggie – who is held as one of the best investigative broadcast journalist and top presenter – emanates from utterances and expressions spit on air by the deported and controversial anti-gay Pastor, Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church.

Investigations has already been launched by Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) against the morning show and the station for contravening section 37 of the Communications Regulatory Act (CRA), Regulation 11 of the Broadcasting Regulations and part 4 of the station license condition clause 14.

Section 37 of the said Act states that “without prejudice to the provisions of section 178 of the Penal Code a licensee shall, where a programme to be broadcast or re-broadcast, is not suitable to be exhibited to children, advise or warn members of the public accordingly.”

The US provocative pastor stated his critical remarks on homosexuality live on radio during “breakfast with Reg.” He said that homosexuals should be “stoned to death.” After the morning show he was immediately deported back to his home country, US.

At the time President Lt. Gen. Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama told Reuters news agency that he had personally ordered his arrest. “We don't want hate speech in this country. Let him do it in his own country,” he reported to have said.

Breakfast with Reg is a morning show that airs weekdays from 6-9am, it deals with mostly local and international current affairs issues as well as Smalltalk that is not necessarily news related. Richardson (Reggie) is a Broadcast journalist with extensive experience in the media industry (more than 10 years) including Botswana Television (BTV), Radio Botswana, ETV (South Africa) and Gabz-FM.

His show has successively won Best Current Affairs Programme – Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) – Botswana, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and best finalist – CNN Africa Journalist of the Year; 2007.
He is a six-time (BOTSWANA) news reader of the year award winner (2002, 2006 and 2007).

Contacted for comment to confirm the duo’s suspension, station MD, Komanyane, was said to be in a meeting. It is unclear how long the suspension will take.

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DPP halts JSC, Judge’s back to work plan

25th January 2021

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.

JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.

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BDP rejects Saleshando payment proposal

25th January 2021
MP saleshando

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.

This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.

“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.

This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.

“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.

UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.

In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.

This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.

Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”

Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”

UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.

Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.

“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview
UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.

The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.

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Boko-Khama axis viewed with suspicion

25th January 2021

President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.

While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.

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