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.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.