Gaborone North Member of Parliament, Haskins Nkaigwa will vehemently deny the defamation charges laid against him by Tati East MP, Samson Guma Moyo when he appears to answer for the charges.
Nkaigwa is accused of publishing defamatory remarks about Moyo in a Facebook post.
In his replying affidavit, Nkaigwa questions and “rejects” the assertion made by Moyo that he has suffered damages in the sum of 1.5 million or any amount for that matter.
“Alternatively, Nkaigwa will plead that even if the words complained of can be attributed to him, such words are not defamatory against Moyo and were not intended to defame Moyo and injure his reputation,” Nkaigwa’s legal representative hinted in court papers seen by the WeekendPost this week.
The Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) legislator further contests that the words complained of, if they are attributed to him, were made with the intention to humiliate, degrade, insult, and to impair the dignity and self-esteem of the Tati East legislator.
According to Moyo in his earlier filing notice: “on about 22nd April 2016, Nkaigwa published a Facebook post about the plaintiff (Moyo) in the ‘All Parties Conference’ Facebook group or page. A copy of the computer screen shot which was attached to the papers stated that;
“Guma can only cheat those who don’t know him. Jang dijo betsho, le madi le a tsee le dino le dinwe. Madi a bogodu a tshwanetse go jewa akere ga a huhulelwa. Kalanga.s (sic) and voters of Francistown South are not cheap as Guma thinks. You can ride them but never ever dream that they will vote BDP. It pains to see how BDP continue (sic) to undermine the integrity of our brothers and sisters. Vote UDC. The devil and its BDP agents will be humbled tomorrow. Be blessed God has given us this one. Money is the root cause of all evil and God has exposed it and whatever is exposed is rendered powerless.”
It is understood that an English translation (in terms of Order 20 rule 4 (4), High Court Rules) of the Setswana words in the post quoted states that; “eat the food fellow citizens; and the money take it; and the beverages, drink them. Money acquired through theft must be spent because it was not worked for.”
The BDP MP’s claims are as follows: “payment of damages for defamation in the sum of 1.5 million pula ; interest thereon at the rate of 10% per annum calculated from the date of judgement to the date of full and final payment; and costs of suits.”
Alternative claims he added include payment of damages for injuria in the sum of P500 000.00; interest thereon at the rate of 10% per annum calculated from the date of judgement to the date of full and final payment; and costs of suits.
In his filing notice, the politician cum business tycoon had claimed locus standi in judicio for the reason that: “The defamatory and insulting words, which are subject of this action, were written and published in reference to me. I was therefore adversely affected by the defendant’s (Nkaigwa) defamatory and insulting statements and therefore have the requisite legal standing to sue for damages.”
However, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) law maker argues that the Tati East MP does not have a good name/reputation as he is currently a subject of investigation by Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) on allegations of financial impropriety.
In addition, the court papers assert that: “the plaintiff (Moyo) presently is also investigated by the Botswana Unified Revenues Services (BURS) wherein he is alleged to have failed to discharge his responsibility of paying taxes and thereby contravening the country’s laws.”
“The plaintiff (Moyo) therefore has no good name as he does not respect the laws of the country especially for a person of his stature as a leader,” the papers further hinted.
According to the former BDP chairman the words quoted in the Facebook post, were intended to impute and were understood by its readers to mean or impute that he is dishonest; a corrupt politician, a corrupt Member of Parliament/leader/public figure; is a thief who steals public funds for use in political campaigns.
The tenderpreneur also pointed out that they were also intended to implicate that he uses proceeds of crime to fund political campaigns; is a criminal involved in financial crime; and is guilty of disreputable conduct.
Apart from the defamatory meaning of the quoted words, he added that they carry an additional sting to the effect that the ruling party MP is not a law abiding citizen; without moral fibre; and is an agent of the devil.
On the alternative claim he pointed out that “the publication of the said Facebook post was made with the intention to humiliate, degrade, insult and to impair my dignity and self-esteem.”
As a result of the defamation, Moyo highlighted he had been damaged in his reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of P1, 500, 000.00. The matter is expected to be fully heard at the High Court in the span of time.
Nkaigwa is represented by esteemed J.J Matomela attorneys while Moyo is represented by revered Ramalepa attorneys.
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.