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PSP sacks Palapye SACS

Senior Assistant Council Secretary at Palapye Administration Authority, Koti Molefi had his contract of employment terminated with immediate effect in a letter dated 27 January 2016 following a public fallout with Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi at a Kgotla meeting hosted by area Member of Parliament, Prince Maele recently.

A very close source has revealed that after the fallout, and two days before the dismissal, the duo had met in Gaborone, at Morupisi’s office.

Koti whose contract ended in 2015 had it renewed for another five years only to have it terminated the following year. Allegations are that when Maele visited Malaka village to address a Kgotla meeting at which Koti was present, the villagers asked him why the Malaka Primary School electrification process took time until Morupisi intervened. In his answer Koti told residents that they were still awaiting the tender to be floated and that they were being guided by the Public Service Act and the Public Service Charter.

Koti was later the following day told that the PSP was very angry about his utterances and he wanted to meet with him. The duo met at Morupisi’s home village at Malaka where he was expected to apologise. According to the source, Koti refused to apologise and was summoned to Gaborone on 25th January 2016. It turned out that upon arrival he met with Morupisi to discuss the matter.

After the meeting he was told that his contract was terminated with immediate effect, and he was later presented with a letter dated 27th January 2016 confirming his dismissal.

When questioned about what transpired during the hearing, Koti who did not want to talk about the ordeal because he still wants to pursue the matter further said he was surprised the Gaborone meeting turned to focus on a 2014 corruption case in which the DCEC had already cleared him. He said that the focus on the 2014 matter has him puzzled as to why, in the first place his contract was renewed, if at all the matter was still lurking.

This according to a close source was an act of emotion and the use of one’s power to stamp his authority. “This case begs suspicion, it is baseless and lacks reasoning, he wants people to fear him and he intervenes with every civil servant in the area. Last time he fired another civil servant who appeared to refuse his instructions in Lecheng while others were transferred against their wishes.”

Meanwhile, Koti has rubbished rumours of political alignment, something that his colleagues think might have caused the tension between him and the PSP.

This past week opposition Councillors were thrown out at Palapye Administration Authority after they enquired about the whereabouts of the Senior Assistant Council Secretary.

The Council Secretary Gaolathe Dipholo seemed clueless about the matter and could not answer their questions instead resorting to throwing them out. Lecheng, Malaka ward councillor Charles Mabjeng who recently joined Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) said this was a very disheartening situation. “We all know that Carter fired him and we demand answers, the procedure must be followed when one’s contract is terminated,” he said.

Asked for a comment, the Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi confirmed that he is aware of the dismissal. “In terms of all the executive management positions it is my responsibility to promote, employ or dismiss and enforce in that regard,” he said. He continued to say he will not share in details why the Senior Assistant Council Secretary’s contract was terminated with the public or the media because it is unethical in terms of the Employment Act.

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DPP halts JSC, Judge’s back to work plan

25th January 2021
Kebonang

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.

JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.

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BDP rejects Saleshando payment proposal

25th January 2021
MP saleshando

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.

This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.

“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.

This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.

“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.

UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.

In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.

This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.

Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”

Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”

UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.

Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.

“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview
UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.

The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.

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Boko-Khama axis viewed with suspicion

25th January 2021
boko-and-khama

President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.

While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.

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