Mmegi Online :: BCP rejects Mosu inquest verdict
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
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BCP rejects Mosu inquest verdict

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has strongly rejected the verdict issued by the Ombudsman, Augustine Makgonatsotlhe that cleared President Ian Khama of office abuse.
By Mpho Mokwape Fri 02 Feb 2018, 17:29 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BCP rejects Mosu inquest verdict








Party spokesperson, Dithapelo Keorapetse said the verdict should be taken as hogwash, triviality and irredeemable bias by the Ombudsman.

The verdict in the Mosu inquest comes nearly three years since a complaint was lodged by the BCP in relation to Khama’s retirement home in Mosu.

BCP had complained that Khama abused his office by using public resources to build his private home in the village of Mosu.

In reaction to the verdict, Keorapetse said the BCP is not surprised because as the party, they have said and maintained that the Ombudsman was a toothless institution, which has become a mere public relations exercise.

“We are studying the report and our preliminary view is that following the recent objective report by the Ombudsman on the abuse of BTV by the ruling party, the office may have been intimidated by the powers-that-be. The Ombudsman has perhaps been reminded that he serves at the behest of the President and the ruling party; that he should shut up and behave because elections are near,” he noted

Keorapetse said while the party lawyers are studying the report, they are at the moment just curious why no fault had been found on President Ian Khama who sent DIS to threaten to kill and or harm INK investigative journalists, Joel Konopo, Ntibinyane Ntibinyane and Kaombona Kanani for attempting to investigate the matter.

He said they wondered how the Ombudsman missed satellite images of military trucks shown by INK investigation in local papers and wonder how Ombudsman conducted his investigations.

The Ombudsman Act is silent on the enforcement and precautionary powers of the office and as such according to one scholar, they must be deemed to be limited to non-existent.

“Observers have concluded that the effectiveness of the institution

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of the ombudsman in Botswana is mediocre. The features which lie beneath the Ombudsman contemptible performance is in particular the lack of independence from the executive arm; the chief grievance officer is appointed by the President/executive and answerable to it and the fact that the office depend on the executive for their budgets and staffing and lack powers to enforce their recommendations. All of these restrictions may have played a part in the current ridiculous verdict.”

Having the Ombudsman declared publicly in the late 2003 that there was no more that he could do in terms of enforcing his recommendations/findings, Keorapetse pointed out that it was tempting to conclude that attractive words about the Ombudsman as a pillar of democracy meant very little.

On the Ombudsman’s accusation to the party for abusing the office, Keorapetse retorted that the Ombudsman should stay way from politics.

“The Ombudsman should desist from speaking the language of corrupt ruling party politicians and he should leave politics to politicians as the timing of reports was none of his business, that his job was to investigate and assess our case in its merits, period. “We are a political party interested in attaining State power on account of better policies,amongst others, transparency, accountability and ethical government which are lacking in Botswana. This view presupposes bias, triviality and general lackadaisical attitude of the office in dealing with the matter in question,” Keorapetse said.

The BCP spokesperson said the party was also disappointment that the Ombudsman circulated the report publicly before responding to them as the complainant. “We saw the matter on social media before we knew there’s a formal response from Ombudsman. It showed disrespect and discourtesy by the office,” he said.

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