Connect with us
Advertisement

BOFEPUSU calls for Chief Justice’s resignation

Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo

Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has called for the resignation of Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo following the suspension of four high court judges by the president, Lt Gen President Ian Khama.


President Ian Khama suspended four law lords following the brewing administrative issue in the judiciary relating to housing allowances. The four judges; Justice Key Dingake, Justice Modiri Letsididi, Justice Mercy Garekwe and Justice Ranier Busang were slapped with suspension letters last week for “undermining the Chief Justice and bringing the judiciary into disrepute.”


In a strongly worded press statement released this week BOFEPUSU blamed the Chief Justice for failing to deal with a small matter which could have been handled internally.


BOFEPUSU called the decision to suspend the quartet “the antithesis of democracy, separation of powers and the rule of law if the head of the Executive, an equal and comparable arm of the Government can suspend judges willy-nilly”.

“Mr Dibotelo can no longer be trusted to uphold the constitution of the Republic of Botswana, safeguard the independence of the judiciary and preserve its integrity,” read the statement released by the federation Deputy Secretary General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa.


BOFEPUSU said Chief Justice Dibotelo’s penchant for petty gossip, lack of tact and sophistication, has resulted in what was a purely administrative matter being elevated to a criminal matter, and then an inquiry into the fitness of judges who have served the country impeccably and administered justice without fear or favour, “Under his leadership of the Judicial Service Commission, political acceptability to the Executive has become the main criterion for appointment to the judiciary,” the statement reads. “This is a position that the Chief Justice has shamelessly defended.


According to Motshwegwa, personalities and egos are at play to the detriment of the integrity of the judiciary. “The judicial is scared and the judges are seen as noble and revered men and women of high agility,” he said. “It is clear that managerial and leadership capabilities of the CJ are being put to test and we are shivering with fright that things are falling apart and disintegrating before him.”


BOFEPUSU further refers to the situation as a “circus playing within the judiciary”, and says as a result of the diminishing line between the executive and judiciary separation of powers is under siege. “The continued suspensions of judges with the blink of an eye with so much haste and lack of regard for consequences thereof will set an environment of intimidation and unrest within judges,” the union said.


The federation contends that given the role of the judges in society where they are expected to uphold justice even on injustices committed by the Executive, they should be be accorded security of their occupation and they be allowed to discharge their duties with freedom guided by the pursuit of justice and professionalism.


The union also warned President Khama to desist from taking steps which will not only compromise the integrity of the court’s structures but also plunge the democracy into crisis.

Continue Reading

News

Over 2 000 civil servants interdicted

6th December 2022

Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.

According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reaching WeekendPost shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.

In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.

This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publication’s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, “as you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,” she said.

She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.

Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.

Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.

Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.

“It is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,” he told WeekendPost, adding that “when a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolved”.

Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.

Continue Reading

News

Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

Continue Reading