The Minister of Transport and Communications, also Member of Parliament (MP) for Sefhare/Ramokgonami, Dorcas Makgato is demanding damages amounting to P250,000, a retraction and an apology from Botswana Congress Party’s (BCP) vice president, Kesitegile Gobotswang.
The two square off over what Makgato says is highly defamatory comments made against her by Gobotswang in a video interview published by Sunday Standard on their Facebook account.
Makgato and Gobotswang are Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Umbrella for Democratic (UDC) parliamentary candidates respectively for Sefhare/Ramokgonami constituency.
The two have been embroiled in aggressive campaign for the constituency since 2013, when Makgato stood in the area for the first time and later on defeated him at the 2014 general elections.
The BCP on the other hand has approached the court seeking an order directing Makgato be struck off the voters’ roll for allegedly being untruthful about her primary residence when registering for elections.
Makgato this week wrote to Gobotswang through his legal representatives threatening to sue him if he failed to comply with her demands within four days of receipt of the demand letter.
According to her, Gobotswang’s remarks in the video clip when he was interviewed by the Sunday Standard posted on their Facebook account make reference to her that she is not from “our constituency.
Her parents never lived here, not anywhere here in this constituency and they have never been here. She told herself that she will continue cheating by voting in the constituency of Sefhare/Ramokgonami, which she does not belong to”.
She says there is evidence that the allegations contain serious, untrue and highly defamatory comments and in being published, they have been communicated to thousands of people, thus impairing and causing threat to her dignity, reputation, status and good name.
“The said words relating to our client in
She continued to say that Gobotswang implied that she sought to cheat the voting process by registering at a place she does not reside at; that she is a liar and a cheater, as a result untrustworthy, consequently irresponsible to hold office or any position of power and that she is running for Parliament for her own benefit and not that of the people, who would deem her selfish and a bad person therefore unfit for office of such high standing.
She stated that as a minister and MP, she has served the country for the benefit of its people with the utmost trust, which she has proven over the years.
“Furthermore, in her position stated above she has portrayed the essential elements of honesty and integrity required by such a status. She has never lacked the ability to take responsibility for her actions and this accountability is an element considered in the public eyes as important when choosing a minister and an MP.
Let it be placed on record that our client has a residence ko Kgotla ya Bopedi in Chadibe, which is her home village,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, judgement in a case in which a voter wants Makgato removed from the voters roll will be delivered on July 8, 2019.