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.
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”