Law Society wants Dibotelo impeached

The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) has joined the fray for the impeachment of the Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo and the three judges who retracted their signatures to the petition.

The LBS said the latest actions of the Chief Justice and the judges called for them to either resign or face impeachment. The three judges; Bengbame Sechele, Kholisani Solo and Barnabas Nyamadzabo were among the 12 judges who signed a petition seeking the impeachment of the chief justice.

Last week, each wrote a letter to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) withdrawing their signatures, a move allegedly influenced by the Office of the President.

In a statement released yesterday by the chairperson, Lawrence Lecha, the LSB urged Dibotelo to do the honourable thing and save the judiciary embarrassment by resigning together with the judges.

The statement reads, “The law society has resolved that the latest actions of the Chief Justice clearly lend credence to the call for him to either resign or face impeachment.

The Law Society urges him to do the honourable thing and save the judiciary as a whole by resigning. Advocacy with regard to this matter should be increased and made international so that pressure may be brought to bear on the affected judges, the Chief Justice, the JSC and the President”.

On the judges’ pledging of allegiance and the alleged amnesty, Lecha said all the judges who have accepted it; a concerted effort should be made to have them impeached for desecrating the constitution and contravening their Oath of Office.

He explained that such judges were not independent and fit enough to hold office and as such litigants who have matters set before them against the state should apply for the judges’ recusal.

“It is most embarrassing that a judge could stoop so low as to state that he signed a petition making very serious allegations against a Chief Justice because he was influenced by ‘mob psychology’, clearly the public cannot thereafter be expected to have confidence in his rulings, judgements and sentences.

Without credibility and the public confidence, the judiciary is bankrupt of any moral or legal standing,” he said.

Lecha said the judges should always owe and pledge their allegiance and loyalty to the constitution not individuals, as such may impair them acting independently in any matter that affects the individual.

 He noted that the Chief Justice was first among equals and therefore not expected to influence other judges in the discharge of their mandate.

“Similarly, the President is head of the executive and therefore any member of the judiciary who pledges loyalty to him compromises the very sacred principle of separation of powers and renders his judicial responsibility subservient to the whims of the president”.

Lecha emphasised that the reports that the Attorney General, through a letter dated September 10,  2015 advising the registrar that the charges against the suspended judges are not the end of the matter as the findings of the tribunal may be used to support charges against other judges in the future, was disturbing as it was meant to scare other judges in pledging their allegiance to the President and the Chief Justice.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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