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Suspended judges want recusal of 3 empanelled Judges

Four suspended judges of the High Court, being Justices Key Dingake; Modiri Letsidi; Mercy Garekwe; and Ranier Busang have this week moved an application at High Court calling for the recusal of panel of judges scheduled to hear their case on the matter in which they are challenging their suspension.

The panel which the four Judges does not want chairing on their case comprises of Justices Singh Lackvinda Walia, Zibani Makhwade and Leatile Dambe.

They detest them sitting together in a panel as presiding Judges, in the main application for the review of the decisions taken by the Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama.  

President Khama suspended the quartet for challenging Chief Justice Dibotelo's move of threatening to report them to the Police for criminal investigation as they were receiving housing allowances while staying in official residences. It was said that they were not entitled to the housing allowance.

The suspended Judges then hauled Khama to court questioning their suspension and highlighting to court that it was unconstitutional and that Khama in earnest does not have powers to suspend Judges.

In the fresh notice of motion filed on Thursday the suspended judges stated in their renewed application that they want court to make an order “that the Honourable Justice(s) Walia, Makhwade and Dambe recuse as presiding Judges in respect of this matter and in its entirety.”   

According to the suspended foursome: “Justices (Walia, Dambe and Makhwande) have on various occasions shown us to be partial and displayed unwarranted impatience with our attorneys.”

The Judges, who have been put ‘on the back banner’ serving suspension explained in the court papers that “to date, our attorney has not delayed filing papers and has been forthcoming on all the facts, in an attempt to assist the court to expedite the hearing of this matter.”

They stressed that under circumstances their apprehension and perception that the Justices are biased against them is as palpable as it is reasonable. “Further it is reasonable to believe that they have prejudged the merits or otherwise, prior to argument of the review,” the judges on hold pointed out.

They insist that in the interest of a fair hearing and protection of their constitutional rights a recusal of the Honourable Justices is the only option.  

Having served the country on the bench for a number of years, the suspended Judges put on ice said they are alive to the sensitivities attending an application of this nature. “However, the fact that such sensitivities subsist, ought not to bar a litigant from securing a fair hearing.”

According to the quartet up in the air the recusal application is not an indictment on the judicial profession at large; but an attempt to bring to light some concerns which any litigant is entitled to highlight.  

“We were of the further view that anyone or more of our colleagues faced with hearing the matter and adjudicating upon it would invariably find themselves in a difficult and invidious position and we therefore were of the view that the appointment of a foreign bench comprising three judges (alternatively the appointment of a three judge panel of the most senior High Court judges) would be most appropriate.”

They wanted foreign judges with no known links to Botswana. Since the appointment of Justices Walia, Dambe and Makhwade, matters have proceeded in a manner which calls into question the independence of the court, they said.

Furthermore, the suspended Judges said their constitutional right for recourse through the courts has been compromised and there is a real apprehension that save for a recusal of the three Justices, there is scant opportunity that they will receive a fair hearing in the current interlocutory matters before the court and in the main substantive application for review.

In justifying why the judges need to further recuse themselves, they gave an example that previously, the court and in particular Justices Walia and Dambe took the view that the group of four suspended were unnecessary delaying the matter. These incidents at the hands of Justices Walia and Dambe was a foreshadowing of unwarranted hostility and ultimately bias from the court as against the applicants, they put to the fore.  

They also categorically stated that: “the question of recusal of a judge(s) is a constitutional matter which goes to the right of a litigant to a fair hearing before an impartial court, in terms of section 10 (9) of the constitution.” It was said that it is therefore vital for the court to bear in mind that the suspended judges’ rights which stand to be violated should the Justices persist are constitutional rights.

Chibanda Makgalemele & Company represented the four suspended Judges while Attorney General stood in for the Registrar of the High Court, President Khama, JSC and Dibotelo.

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CEO Africa Roundtable: Mnangagwa advocates for technological embrace

17th June 2024

The CEO Africa Roundtable has emerged as a pivotal platform for shaping national, regional, and international development dialogues through public-private engagements. At the annual CEO Africa Roundtable event held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa exhorted business leaders to embrace technology and leverage indigenous solutions to stimulate Africa’s economic growth.

Mnangagwa highlighted that the presence of delegates from across the continent signifies the business community’s confidence in Zimbabwe’s trade and investment environment, as well as in the broader regional (SADC) and continental markets.

Addressing the theme, “The Future of Africa: Modernize, Reshape, and Grow,” President Mnangagwa asserted that this theme aligns with Africa’s developmental aspirations, emphasizing the need “to innovate in order to increase production and productivity, as espoused in the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.”

He remarked that the Roundtable provides its members with a valuable platform for networking, gaining expert insights, sharing experiences regarding the local business environment, and proposing policy recommendations aimed at enhancing the business operating environment.

The President lauded the CEO Africa Roundtable and its partners for organizing focused discussions, dialogue sessions, and innovative platforms tailored to various key economic sectors as part of the event.

“Innovation and the use of information communication technology are critical enablers as we traverse the journey towards modernizing and reshaping the African continent’s economic landscape,” Mnangagwa stated.

According to Mnangagwa, the world is on the cusp of a technological revolution that is transforming how “we work and relate to one another.” He noted that this shift involves a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

This technological disruption is affecting every industry, hence Mnangagwa urged business leaders and policymakers to capitalize on the fourth industrial revolution, which holds the potential to elevate global income levels and enhance the quality of life for populations worldwide.

President Mnangagwa challenged African business leaders to be innovative, embrace their identities, and devise homegrown solutions. He asserted that Africans possess the platform and intelligence to elevate the continent’s economy to greater heights.

Earlier, CEO Africa Roundtable Chairman Oswell Binha indicated that the platform is expanding across Africa. He welcomed the addition of three new chapters in Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia. He further noted that more chapters will be introduced as part of efforts to foster collaboration among African businesses, harnessing the principles of the Africa Free Trade Area and regional integration. Over 300 delegates from across Africa attended the CEO Roundtable event in Victoria Falls.

 

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BOTSWANA PARTICIPATES IN CEO AFRICA ROUNDTABLE SUMMIT

16th June 2024

At the prestigious CEO Africa Roundtable Summit held in Victoria Falls, Botswana was represented by the Chairperson of the CEO Africa Roundtable Botswana Chapter, Tryphinah Dongwana-Kenalemang, and her deputy, Aubrey Lute. This annual convergence, themed “The Future of Africa: Modernize, Reshape, and Grow,” drew luminaries from across the continent.

Over 300 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and business Executives attended the Summit.

Dongwana-Kenalemang elaborated on the significance of Botswana’s attendance, emphasizing that it served as a benchmarking exercise in preparation for hosting a similar event in Botswana. She underscored the imperative for African nations to collaborate and exchange trade insights, thereby unlocking a wealth of opportunities.

The CEO Africa Roundtable is dedicated to fostering economic growth and sustainable development across the continent. Its objectives include promoting intra-African trade, driving innovation, and forging strategic partnerships. The platform enables business leaders to share knowledge, engage in high-level dialogue, and influence policy-making.

The genesis of the Botswana Chapter’s relationship with the CEO Africa Roundtable dates back to their initial encounter at the US-Africa Business Summit in July 2023, held in Gaborone. This seminal meeting laid the groundwork for ongoing collaboration and mutual support in advancing Africa’s economic future.

 

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Liquid Intelligent Technologies boosts fibre connectivity for Botswana businesses

7th June 2024

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies and a leading pan-African technology conglomerate, has announced the successful completion of the second phase of the Gaborone Metro Ring project. This significant milestone underscores Liquid Botswana’s commitment to enhancing high-speed connectivity, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth throughout Botswana’s capital.

“In August 2023, we completed the first phase of the Metro Ring project. Less than a year later, we have now completed the second phase. In the process, we created 400 new jobs, both directly and indirectly, and connected hundreds of additional businesses in the city. The second phase of the Metro Ring project includes connections to key strategic locations, linking all major business centers,” stated Odirile Tamajobe, Managing Director of Liquid Intelligent Technologies Botswana.

Building on the momentum from Phase 1, Liquid’s enterprise and wholesale clients in the region can anticipate reduced tariffs for local and international data products, as well as enhanced internet, communication, data transfer, and video streaming services. This initiative aligns with the company’s vision of a digitally inclusive future, ensuring no African is left behind.

Liquid has made significant investments to establish itself as a dominant presence, providing businesses with an expansive network that offers connectivity and access to digital platforms. This critical milestone highlights the organization’s ongoing collaboration with the public sector to achieve the government’s strategic plan and establish itself as a key contributor to the National Digital Transformation Strategy, ensuring no Motswana is left behind.

This expansion also aims to grow Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ wholesale, enterprise, and retail offerings across Botswana, resulting in improved customer service and the introduction of new products.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group operating in over 25 countries across Africa. Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading provider of pan-African digital infrastructure with a 110,000 km-long fibre broadband network and satellite connectivity, offering high-speed internet access anywhere in Africa. Liquid also leverages its digital network to provide Cloud and Cyber Security solutions through strategic partnerships with leading global players. Liquid is a comprehensive technology solutions group, delivering customized digital solutions to public and private sector enterprises and SMEs across the continent.

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