Uganda’s former Member of Parliament (MP) in the Bubulo constituency, Tonny Nsubuga Kipoi’s defence attorney has accused the State of trampling on his client’s liberty after asking for more time to complete investigations into the authenticity of his waiver.
Botswana Police Service has Kipoi in custody for re-entering the country after being declared a prohibited immigrant and facing obtaining by false pretences charge years ago.
He is also a wanted man in his native country for treason.
In the previous court session, Kipoi was denied bail as the prosecution told the court that they have launched investigations to ascertain the authenticity of a waiver to stay in Botswana.
When motivating for the bail denial then investigating officer (IO), detective constable Tebogo Calvin Tsenene had told the court that while there is no evidence suggesting that the waiver is invalid, it remains questionable.
Two weeks later, the State is yet to authenticate Kipoi’s waiver as the prosecutor, Inspector Joseph Kehakae told court that the IO is on emergency leave as he is bereaved.
He also stated that investigations are almost complete, but left with the IO’s statement. Therefore, he requested more time.
However, when responding to these developments on Friday, his attorney Jerome Matomela said the State is not serious about ascertaining its facts.
Matomela said while they sympathise with the IO’s situation, the court should take into consideration that the accused has been languishing in jail for over a month. He said the accused’s liberty has been taken away. “The State should have come to court when their case is ripe for trial. He is entitled to his liberty. The accused was admitted into the country procedurally and is a law abiding citizen during his stay in Botswana,” Matomela said.
The lawyer wondered why it was taking long for the prosecution to ascertain the authenticity of his client’s waiver despite being in the custody of immigration officials.
Extension II Magistrate Kamogelo Mmesi said the issue of waiver is a serious matter to consider when dealing with the accused’s bail application.
“I just can’t grant him bail then later it comes out that the waiver is not genuine. He is in the country because of that waiver so I can’t deal with his bail application until it is proven that it is genuine,” Mmesi said.
As such, Mmesi ordered the prosecutor to subpoena an official from Immigration Department today (Monday 16, 2020) to testify on the accused’s waiver.