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Law Society will not challenge Kebonang appointment

Dr Zein Kebonang

The Law society of Botswana has abandoned its intention to challenge the appointment of Dr Zein Kebonang as the Acting Judge of the High Court.

The Law Society concede that the appointment was constitutional, however it is convinced that it stands the chance to successfully persuade the court that President Lt Gen Ian Khama was wrong not to appoint Omphemetse Motumise to the same bench.

In its application filed before the Gaborone High Court early this week, the LSB expressed its intention to request the court to review and set aside the President’s decision not to appoint Motumise as the High court Judge in April this year.

In April, President Khama turned down Motumise’s name which was recommended to him by the JSC for appointment to the bench and instead requested for a different name. The JSC then recommended Dr Kebonang for appointment and now the LSB which sits in the commission maintains that the President was wrong.

According to the LSB the President is bound to implement the advice of the JSC in terms of the constitution. The society has therefore filed a legal case against President Khama and the JSC for what they believe is violation of the laid down rules.

“The applicants submit that the JSC has the sole responsibility for deciding who should be appointed as judges to the High courts. The President does not retain any form of discretion to refuse or reject the advice of the JSC on which candidate should be appointed,” LSB explained it its filing notice.

The current application before court seeks to address among others, whether the President has discretion to refuse candidates who were or are nominated by the judicial service for appointment as judges to the High Court as well as to what extent the proceedings and decisions of the JSC are confidential.

The application further wants the court to pronounce as to what extent the LSB representative on the JSC is entitled to consult with and report to the LSB council on decisions and proceedings in the JSC.

The LSB through their attorney Tshiamo Rantao of Rantao Kewagamang Attorneys wants the court to review and set aside the President’s decision not to appoint Motumise as the Judge of the High court. The society also wants the court to declare that the judicial service commission’s interviews of candidates for appointment as judges must as a rule, be open to the public.

The Society would further request the court to declare that the JSC must make the outcome of its deliberations on the appointment of judges public.

“Candidates apply to a seat of profound public power and prestige to which an appropriately high standard of public scrutiny and accountability is attached. For this reason, the applicants submit that it is in the public interest that interviews take place in public and that this will act as a democratic safeguard against the risk of unsuitable individuals being vested with judicial authority,”

The LSB further contends that the principle underlying the application is that the independence of the country’s judiciary is foundational to its constitutional democracy and is premised on the competence, credibility, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

They further submitted that the JSC has been vested with a substantial public and constitutional responsibility to ensure such judicial independence and it is incumbent on them to exercise this power in an open and transparent manner and in conformity with general principles of good governance.

Attorneys, Tshiamo Rantao, Kelebogile Kewagamang, Nyaradzo Mupfuti, Tefo Gaongalelwe and Kuda Tshiamo have been given the power to represent the LSB and Motumise and the matter while President Khama, JSC and the Attorney General have been cited as respondents and expected to be represented by government attorneys.

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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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