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The ghost of Bruwer looms large in the horizon


It is fighting season. Justice Gaongalelwe has taken the Administration of Justice to Court. One other Judge has also signalled the intention to sue the Administration of Justice. Justices Dingake, Letsididi, Garekwe and Busang are already crossing swords with their colleagues in Gaborone.


The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has filed a case against the use of the Electronic Voting Machines. The robust and ever bristling Motshwarakgole and Manual Workers have also given similar notification. The matters and the parties are combustible mixtures. Emotions are likely to run high.


The Signs are already there. The Response to Justice Gaongalelwe’s application is robust (We may not go further for that other evil called sub judice is hovering) and signals the cranking up of heat levels. Under this environment, the litigants and their attorneys would be wise to heed the advice of Justice Amissah’s Court of appeal in the case of President of the Republic of Botswana and Others V Bruwer and Another.


The Court was made up of Justices Amissah, Aguda, Tebbut, Hoexter and Lord Allanbridge.Justice Tebbut ultimately became the President of the Court of Appeal. In legal circles, it is said that Amissah’s Court was the most progressive. Kirby’s Court seems to me to be the most reform based. It is apparent that Kirby wants to leave jurisprudence identifiable with him.


This seems to be trend world-wide. Interestingly one also expects that a Chief Justice would be interested in shaping the Jurisprudence of the High Court. Among other things the Head of any Court must first and foremost have the respect of his colleagues in relation to his or her intellectual acumen. Kirby’s approach right or wrong accords with the principle that the Head of the Court has to also be its intellectual leader. Well, that’s a topic for another day. In Bruwer the Respondents were farmers based in the Molopo area. They had entered into negotiations with Commonwealth Development Corporation for the purchase of their ranch.


Nature intervened before the transaction was completed. The cattle lung disease struck. The Government decide to compulsorily acquire Molopo ranch to use in efforts to fight the disease. This decision riled Bruwer and his partners. The dispute ended in Court. Papers were filed by both parties. Bruwer and his partners’ affidavit came under the scrutiny of the Court. The Court was not amused by the contents. President Amissah warned “There is one matter which I think I must deal with before I finish.

 

I do not think it necessary for me to itemise the breadth and number of vituperative expressions used by the respondents of the appellants’ witnesses in this case. Anybody who cares to read the first respondents’ replying affidavit would be struck by its intemperance of language.

 

It is a sad day for any country when lawyers practising before its courts permit a party or client, however aggrieved he may feel, to level gratuitous and baseless insults on the highest officers of State who were doing no more than discharging their official duties, as they perceived them to be, not for themselves, but in the interests of the state. It is even more distressing when the abuse is levelled in connection with matters not germane to the real issues before the Court.

 

I understand from leading counsel for the respondents that such a conduct is permissible because the officials vilified, are not Batswana and therefore insulting them shows no disrespect to Botswana. Our Courts are here to protect the supplicant who has been illegally deprived of his rights by authority.

 

But the processes of the Courts should not and cannot be allowed to be used as a licence for unjust showering of invective on holders of public offices trying to perform their duties as they see fit. The replying affidavit in this case is a disgrace. And I hope no lawyer thinks it proper, or an advancement of his case to put such scurrilous affidavit before our courts in future.”


This warning was issued nineteen years ago, it still holds true today. It should guide today and tomorrows litigants and their lawyers. Insulting your opponents demeans the Court as well. With these noble words in mind let the battles begin.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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