The suspension of four High Court judges in Botswana has shocked the nation. Whilst some have welcomed the idea via social media, one has to wonder, is such action necessary? Judges Key Dingake , Modiri Letsididi, Mercy Garekwe and Reiner Busang were suspended on basis of receiving housing allowances whilst being afforded housing as per judges’ benefits.
My two cents sees the suspension as not justifiable as it not only embarrasses the nation but also prejudices the ordinary Motswana. Why? There is no secret that there already is a backlog of cases that the courts have to deal with and as the maxim goes mora iustitiae negatio iustitiae est that is to say, justice delayed is justice denied. The suspension by the president on advice of the Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo has made me wonder if justice does exist.
The sitting allowances issue should be resolved in house and if the CJ felt that police should be involved then I foresee vendettas being the root of the problem.
All four judges are people of high stature. The renowned Key Dingake is the pride and joy of Botswana and has put the legal Fraternity on the map with leading cases being the face of change in society. Therefore are we ready to lose such a person? Are we ready to burden the courts with understaffing and overworking?
The president has the right to suspend however I have to say he has been badly adviced. Is housing allowances really worth such prejudice? And you Mr President, is the CJ a man worth trusting? Why can’t he have just resolved such issues in camera and no run to you as though the world is on fire? The judges suspended too have fired back at the CJ asking that he be impeached and who can blame them?
The CJ here has erred and not only embarrassed the nation but prejudiced the ordinary Motswana who demands that justice be done. There has to be alternatives as to how this matter can be resolved and suspension is not the answer. What should be done is to have them pay back the money if they are guilty and also the investigations should also be directed to the person authorizing payment of such allowances.
The Chief Justice has really disappointed me an aspiring lawyer. I have been wondering if the phrase fit and proper does exist still in his case. I am not bad mouthing anyone here but I am disappointed in the procedure that has been taken. What then for pending cases that were supposed to be presided by these judges? Or pending judgments?
Are those people who are wrongly convicted supposed to languish in jail because the presiding judge is suspended over an issue of housing allowance? Please Mr President and you too Mr CJ remember this maxim fiat justitia ruat caelum let justice be done even if heaven falls.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.