Respect public institutions Mr Pres

President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s recent statements concerning his directives to authorities not to handcuff his predecessor, former president Ian Khama, during criminal proceedings are deeply troubling.

Leaders must uphold the rule of law and ensure justice, but Masisi’s remarks raise serious concerns on the separation of powers and the independence of the justice system.

Masisi’s claim that he personally instructed authorities not to handcuff Khama, regardless of the legal circumstances, undermines the principles of justice and equality before the law.

As Head of State, Masisi should respect the judicial process and avoid interfering in specific cases. His comments could suggest a disregard for due process and the rights of all citizens, regardless of their status.


By publicly revealing his intervention in Khama’s case, Masisi implies that he can influence law enforcement and judicial decisions. Such statements erode public trust in the justice system, as citizens may perceive that political considerations override legal ones.

The independence of the Judiciary is a cornerstone of any democratic society, and any attempt to compromise it undermines the very fabric of the country’s constitutional order.

Leadership comes with responsibilities, including respecting the institutions that uphold justice. Masisi’s duty is to ensure that the justice system operates independently, free from political interference.

His comments risk creating an environment where selective treatment based on political affiliations becomes acceptable. This is not only unjust but also damages the credibility of our legal institutions.

President Masisi had an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to justice by allowing the legal process to unfold without interference. Instead, he chose to emphasise his personal stance, potentially influencing law enforcement officers and judicial officials. In doing so, he missed a chance to break the cycle of political interference in Botswana’s justice system.

Justice is not served by executive directives or political pressure. It is served through impartial investigations, fair trials, and adherence to the rule of law. President Masisi should reconsider his approach and recognise that justice cannot be compromised for political expediency. As Botswana continues its journey towards progress and democracy, preserving the integrity of our justice system is paramount.

President Masisi’s reckless utterances risk undermining the very foundations of justice. We call on him to respect the independence of the Judiciary, uphold the rule of law, and allow justice to prevail without interference.

‘Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.’

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Editor's Comment
CoA brings sanity to DIS/DCEC long-standing feud

This decision follows the raiding of the office of the former Director General of the DCEC, Tymon Katlholo early 2022 and his staff officer by the DIS operatives who reportedly took files that they had targeted.After all back and forth arguments, the CoA has set the record straight giving an invaluable lesson to the DIS that it was no super security organ and it does not have any powers to cogently supervise other security organs including the...

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