The voter registration objection case against Minister Transport and Communications Dorcus Makgato will be heard on August 14 at the Court of Appeal.
The objector in the matter, Mothusi Maribe filed an unopposed application for urgent hearing against the decision of the High Court that rendered its interpretation of section 67 (3) (a) of the constitution
The section provides that “a person shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in a constituency in which he or she has his or her residence, or if he or she has more than one residence in Botswana in constituency in which he or she has his or her principal residence”.
Justice Singh Walia, when granting leave for urgent hearing of the matter, said given the matter’s importance, it would be impolitic to engage in a lengthy discourse and that the mere fact that the High Court decision was not unanimous pointed to the objector having a reasonably arguable case.
“The appeal quite clearly deals with a matter of considerable public interest. The balance of convenience favoured an expedited appeal,” he said.
He explained that the need to accord the application urgency was quite obvious that the general election is scheduled for October and that delay in dealing with the matter could easily render the decision to have no value or importance.
However, Walia pointed out that though the appeal being as of right, the bar on prospects of success should not be raised too high. On appeal, Maribe is challenging High Court Chief Justice Terence Rannowane and Judge Chris Gabanagae’s decision on the interpretation of the ‘principal residence’.
He had brought the matter seeking constitutional interpretation on the principal residence as he was challenging that the Ramokgonami/Sefhare parliamentary candidate Makgato had registered to vote in his principal residence.