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Boko slams Molokomme over controversial bills

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Duma Boko

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Duma Boko has criticised Attorney General, Dr Athalia Molokomme for what he called ‘ill-advising government and drafting bills which are not in confluence with the constitution’.

Boko’s statement comes in the wake of controversial bills having been presented in the just ended session of Parliament. Government had presented three bills before the legislative house; the Botswana Examination Council (BEC) Amendment Bill, the Trade Dispute Amendment and the Non-Banking Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) Bill of which only the latter passed.

Leader of the Opposition Duma Boko told Parliament last week that several bills had been presented to Parliament and passed despite them contravening the constitution of the Republic.

Boko remarked that most of the Acts, if challenged in court, will be scrapped off because they grossly violate the constitution.

“The role of Parliament is to pass laws, but not laws that are at variance with or in conflict with the Constitution. This Parliament cannot sit idle and say once it comes here we assume it is okay,” Boko said.

Boko questioned the constitutionality of the new NBFIRA bill which has since been passed by Parliament.  

“It suggests to me that it was never put through a constitutional lens. It was never viewed from the standpoint of the Constitution, and that is a fundamental error,” he asserted.

“Fundamental because if it offends against the Constitution, it should not pass here because we would be failing in our job if we can pass legislation that is inconsistent with the Constitution, and that has happened a couple of times before.”

He asserted that for the bill to indicate that ‘Inspector must not be impeded in the carrying out of any inspection, and that inspection arises from a reasonable suspicion that the Act has been violated’, would be improper since the bill does not state who will test for such reasonableness of the suspicion.

Boko concluded that the bill is inconsistent with Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, therefore offering no safeguards envisaged by the section 5 of the constitution.

The leader of opposition further stated that before a piece of proposed legislation comes to Parliament, it must have been subjected to a rigorous constitutional examination by Attorneys of relevant experience, supervised by the Attorney General.

“I am afraid and regret to say, that does not seem to have happened in relation to this particular piece of legislation,” he said.

“What is the Attorney General doing if we can be sitting here to look at palpably unconstitutional propositions? What is the job of that office? Are we serious if we can come here and be debating issues that are cognisably unconstitutional?”

Minister of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) Unity Dow withdrew the Examination Council (BEC) Amendment Bill subsequent to strong disapproval from various quarters.

The proposed amendments of the bill had sought to compel teachers to supervise and invigilate external examinations despite the High Court having ruled that it was not the responsibility of the teachers to do so.

The proposed bill was also met with criticism within the ruling party resulting in the bill finally being withdrawn. The BEC Amendment bill was also withdrawn; meanwhile, the Trade Dispute Amendment Bill is before Parliament and has been debated and pending enactment.

The Trade Dispute Amendment bill is also before the High Court and a debate ensued on whether it was proper for Parliament to debate a matter which was before the courts.

The subjudice rule prevents discussion of matters which are before the courts.

The Trade Dispute Amendment bill is seeking to make a number of professions in the public service including teaching and employees of mass media to fall under the Essential Service category, a development which would prevent them from engaging in industrial action.  

In 2013, Parliament passed the Public Health Bill resulting in advocacy group Botswana Network of Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) seeking court intervention on the matter. BONELA argued that some sections of the bill were unconstitutional.  

The Attorney General who is principal legal advisor to the government is appointed by the president and also supervises Directorate of Public Prosecutions.  a

Boko has clashed with Molokomme before in 2014 following the general elections, after the Attorney General threw the country into constitutional crisis by challenging the constitutionality of Parliament standing orders with regards to the election of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the endorsement of the Vice President.

The AG lost the case and the subsequent appeal, costing government a total of P2.5 million in legal fees.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

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A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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