The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is contemplating taking legal action against the Minister of Lands and Housing, Prince Maele after he accused the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Duma Boko of plagiarism.
The accusations nearly sent Parliament into chaos and Members of Parliament from the opposition bloc demanded that Minister Maele retract his accusations. The Member of Parliament for Okavango, Bagalatia Arone was consequently thrown out of Parliament by the Speaker after he switched off Maele’s microphone and demanded that the minister take back his words albeit unsuccessfully.
The UDC spokesperson in Parliament, Dr Phenyo Butale confirmed that they are taking the matter further by engaging the courts. “We view the accusations very seriously and we will not allow Honourable Maele to soil the name of our leader with baseless accusations,” he stressed.
Dr Butale also informed that newspaper that by stretching the boundaries of diatribe to radio stations, “Minister Maele has literally thrown away the immunity of Parliament and we are weighing our legal options.”
Minister Maele took the matter to a private radio station where he argued that: “opposition Members of Parliament always display intolerance in parliament". He was unfazed by legal threats from the UDC. He stretched his accusations and repeated them, “These people never research, they always plagiarize. In Boko's speech (paragraph 9), he plagiarized paragraph 8 of the Land Policy, o e manolotse jaaka e ntse, saying what we are saying. He plagiarized 3 paragraphs," the Minister of Lands and Housing told Duma Fm.
Contacted for comment, Minister Maele said he is ready to fight the UDC in court, “as a Motswana and a Minister of Lands I have rights to express my views and defend the government.” He said if the UDC believes that they have a case against him, they must prove that his views are not correct, “I still stand by my views that they plagiarised, if they are going to court they must do so immediately,” he said.
Maele said no one from the opposition has produced evidence to indicate that his views are not correct. “I am ready to meet them in court, I am not shaken.”
The Land policy of the current government focuses on four key issues, that is, land tenure, access to land and protection of land rights, land management and administration and institutional and legal framework. The policy says that every Motswana be eligible for one plot in the country, that land be repossessed where there is evidence of mismanagement. The policy has also proposed the establishment of land authorities to transform and professionalization of land boards and other land administration authorities. It also advocates for measures to be put in place to access housing without necessarily owning a plot.
Therefore, the primary goal of this Land policy is to protect and promote land rights of all landholders and promote sustainable human settlements and improve land allocation through establishing an up to date land information management system.
In his response to the Budget speech, the UDC leader indicated that his party would significantly accelerate and expand efforts to provide serviced plots at reasonable price, especially for first time property owners.
“In particular, we would propose an additional P700 million to purchase more land and embark on Public Private Partnerships for the servicing of those land-parcels in-order to make more land available for the housing needs of a large number of Batswana. We would simplify process, through legislation, to secure land rights in communal areas,” he stated.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.