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Basarwa clash with Gov’t over human/Wildlife co-existence

The government has been warned not to address Ranyane residents in the Gantsi District on matters relating to the recent judgment on the denial of services pending the appeal against the same ruling.

The legal representative of the Basarwa tribe of Ranyane wrote an urgent letter to the Gantsi District Council this week ahead of a scheduled kgotla meeting and warned the officials that they were free to address the residents on any issues, save for the High court Judgement.

“The reasons are quite obvious that our clients have appealed the High court judgment to the court of Appeal and until the court of Appeal has made its pronouncement the matter is sub judice,” advised Onalethata Kambai, of Kambai Attorneys.

The Gaborone based Attorney, further added that he had to write the letter because the Council had earlier alluded to the fact that the purpose of their intended visit on Friday 18th, 2015 was to explain the implications of the judgment to the residents.

“As stated during our conversation, as legal counsel for the Applicants, now Appellants, we have already explained all implications of the judgment to clients and we do not see the need for the respondents to explain any legal implications,” the letter further reads.

According to Kambai, once a judgment is appealed all parties must desist from attaching their own interpretations because they will have the opportunity to do so at the Court of Appeal and the clients rights are reserved.

“By virtue of this letter, the Registrar of the Court of appeal is duly notified. This letter is written on a completely without prejudice basis,” Kambai further explained.

In October this year, Justice Terrence Rannowane of the Gaborone High Court ruled that the Council cannot be ordered by the court to extend free services to unrecognised settlements such as Ranyane. The 114 residents had dragged the government officials before Rannowane’s court and demanded that they reinstall the free services that included, water, a mobile clinic, drought relief programme (Ipelegeng) and the borehole engine.

In a Judgement that took Rannowane approximately 11 Months to prepare, Ranyane residents were told that the Council was not under any obligation to supply them with water and rather that it was the Water Utilities Corporation which supplies drinking water throughout the country.

However Kambai contends in the letter that he wrote to the Council this week that even though the main point in the judgment was that there were factual disputes in the case, Rannowane did not really attempt to resolve the dispute between the parties hence they were appealing the judgment.

“The Judge strongly purported to take judicial notice of the fact that the provision of water is now the sole responsibility of the Water Utilities Corporation under the Act of the same name. On the contrary, section 14 of the Act provides that it shall be the function of the Corporation (a) to supply water in bulk or otherwise and in such areas as the Minister may, after consultation with the Corporation, designate by order published in the Government Gazette. There was no evidence before the Court that Ranyane is in an area “designated” by the Minister,” Ranyane residents state in the grounds of Appeal which were filed this week.

They further argue that the said section 14 does not take away the responsibility of the Council from supplying water to individual settlements in the District.

The Council terminated free services to Ranyane in 2012 following a population census which indicated that the human population was growing too fast in the wildlife protected area. The government then attempted to forcefully relocate the residents to neighbouring settlements of Bere, Metsimantsho, Chobokwane and others, but was stopped through a High court order.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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