Congratulations Your Lordship and Ladyship

Congratulations to Judge Dambe on being appointed the first female Judge of the Court of Appeal. Hopefully we will see more women Court of Appeal judges in the near future.

asd I must admit some degree of conflict here because she is my former boss. That, however, does not subtract from the historical and substantive significance of her appointment. Perhaps we need more women at the High Court. It is time we have more gender justice. I do not want my 12-year-old daughter’s gender to stand on the way of her dreams. Judge Dambe’s appointment, like the handful others before, supplies the confidence the girl child needs to know that she is not, by reason of her gender, a second class citizen.

But I am not very happy yet. Trust me, we can do with more women judges. Legal practice is boring enough without one having to look at grumpy men and saying, “My Lord”. “My Lady” sounds better than the servitudinal title bestowed upon our superiors in Santa Claus outfits.

Now, it wasn’t always this way. It was better until a few months back. Whoever decided upon those acting appointments must have been inspired by God. My learned friends Busang Manewe and Basimane Bogopa agree. You could wake up and look forward to a well illuminated courtroom and you wouldn’t notice the long hand go past five o’clock. But we are back to someone devoid of aesthetic inspiration.

But it is time to be happy. Slowly but surely, stereotypes are being broken and the nation is awakening to the urgent need to harness the full potential of its citizenry across the gender divide. It has been long coming but we need not complain.

We just need to be thankful that it is here. Maybe in the near future we could have a woman president. Imagine if it was to be Honourable Bogolo Kenewendo. We would all be home on time every day to watch Btv and we would forget that it largely broadcasts nonsense. The extortionate friends near Riverwalk Mall would close down and wed have a little to save.

But there is another reason why I am just happy. I have always been one for the localisation of the Court of Appeal bench because I do not know exactly what the foreigners there are doing that Batswana can’t do. Peruse their judgements if you think that I am talking tripe.

The truth is they do decide cases and most of the time their decisions are just and are indeed correct. For that I am grateful and I will be happy to see them off at the airport when they get their one way tickets. 

They add no substantial value to our jurisprudence. I know Judges of the High Court who can do just as well and, even better. Being old and white doesn’t translate to wisdom.

Same as being old and black. We have seen so much constitutional litigation over the past years we must accept we need strength at the Court of Appeal. Just the other day a political party shook a fist at the presidency.

The Court of Appeal is important for another reason. That is where condemned inmates go for their last shot at life. Literally. The court literally holds the power of life and death.

That they have sent Judge Dambe there is a vote of confidence on her strengths. I have for one worked closely with her at the DPP and I know that she can deliver on her assignment.  By assignment I mean justice. We have been through a phase in our national life when that word would have literally meant an instruction.

We have been through a phase where the justice system was literally mortgaged to the executive. I do not think the shackles are completely off yet. Maybe the guillotine that fell somewhere near the Main Mall should fall somewhere near Square Mart.

Our bench has had a serious integrity deficit and I hope that the appointment of Judge Dambe is one of the steps taken towards fixing the anomaly.

But I would be wrong not to congratulate Judge Rannowane too on his ascendance to the post of Chief Justice.

One thing I have observed about him is that he is a gentleman and that he has a fair sense of justice. It is my sincere hope that he will rise above the reptilian and meteorological politics of the bench.

I hope he knows to keep critical distance between himself and the executive. He should see the executive first as the accused, and only after, as stakeholders. I have always maintained that the government enclave has the highest concentration of criminals after the Maximum Security Prison.

You can literally draw barbed wire around it, let the few innocent ones out, lock it and throw the keys away. You can beat me with a baseball bat all day and I will still maintain it. I will maintain it because it is true. It is again true in a very brutal sense.

Aggregate and quantify all the spoils of the executive branch of government and you will agree that the enclave houses the biggest criminals by value while the lie infested facility at Village houses the most by number. 

Congratulations Your Ladyship and Your Lordship.

Editor's Comment
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When the pandemic reached Botswana’s shores last year March, a nation united in the quest to defeat an invisible enemy. It is a moment never witnessed in recent memory, with the catastrophes of the world war and the 1918 Spanish influenza being the only other comparisons in living memory. Botswana, like the rest of the world, had to readjust its priorities and channel most, if not all, of its energies towards fighting COVID-19. It has not been...

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