FRANCISTOWN: A Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) activist Peter Kuchwe will spend the festive season in jail after he failed to pay his child maintenance arrears.
Kuchwe, who is an additional member of the BPP’s central committee, was recently arrested by the police at one of the shopping malls in Francistown after he failed to appear in court to pay his P50,500 maintenance arrears.
Before Kuchwe was arrested, magistrate Cele Lebakeng had issued a warrant of his arrest on June 4, 2018 after he failed to appear in court despite being warned to do so.
Initially, Kuchwe owed P51,000 but only managed to pay P500. The BPP activist will appear in court again on January 3, 2019 to extend his stay in jail should he fail to pay his debt.
Kuchwe’s remand in jail follows a recent similar incident in which a BDP councillor for Tatisiding West Dumani Kelepi escaped jail by a whisker after he failed to appear in
Although Kelepi later managed to pay his arrears and was not incarcerated, magistrate Lebakeng told him that he was not above the law and should always appear in court as scheduled.
Said Lebakeng then: “What is worrisome is the way this matter was treated. It looks like you were not arrested because you are a councillor and you are not different from other people who appear before our different courts. It would have sent a very bad message if I did not issue a warrant of your arrest because you are a councillor. You will not get preferential treatment from this court just because you are a councillor”.
Cecilia Nchotlhi appeared for the state.