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BCP drops Merafhe lawsuit

OARABILE MOSIKARE
The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has dropped the lawsuit over the pension for former vice president, the late Mompati Merafhe, but is still pursuing President Ian Khama over the Green Book.

Last year the BCP instituted a lawsuit  against Khama declaring the Green Book [Executive Conditions of Service] unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional and a nullity and of no force and effect, and his revision of Merafhe’s pension without the knowledge of Parliament.  The BCP secretary general Kesitegile Gobotswang confirmed this week that the central committee recently resolved to pursue the matter with some modifications. “We agreed to pursue the legality of using the Green Book by President Khama with some modifications. The part where we demanded the late former vice president Mompati Merafhe to pay back the money will be now left out,” explained Gobotswang.

The opposition party reached this decision after the death of Merafhe last month. “The man has passed on and how do you sue a dead man?  We cannot see ourselves suing a dead man despite his estate,” said Gobotswang.

The proceedings have been instituted against Khama in his capacity as the President of Botswana.

The party

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is seeking an order to declare the Green Book unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional and a nullity and of no force and effect.  They say the Green Book is contrary to the National Assembly (Gratuities and Pensions Act) and the National Assembly (Salaries and Allowances) Act and therefore has to be struck down.

Last year, BCP lawyer Martin Dingake told Mmegi that essentially the Green Book seeks to vary Acts of Parliament when it is not a legal document nor based on any law. “The orders sought will include the one that the payments of the benefits and allowances to the former vice president be stopped forthwith.

Having obtained a declarator setting aside the Green Book we will seek to quantify (in monetary terms) the value of benefits this far extended to His Honour the former vice president and ask that he be ordered and directed to refund the Government of Botswana,” said Dingake at the time.



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