Saleshando wins against Parliament

Triumphant: Saleshando PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Triumphant: Saleshando PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

The Gaborone High Court has ordered Parliament to pay an outstanding balance of P225,474 within 30 days to Black Bone (PTY) LTD security, which has been providing services to the Leader of Opposition (LOO), Dumelang Saleshando.

This came after President Mokgweetsi Masisi instructed Parliament not to authorise payments for security details provided to the LOO. In his order, Justice Ookeditse Maphakwane said Saleshando should continue to retain the services of Black Bone for the performance of his lawful entitlement for the provision of private security. He said the government should pay Black Bone for the provision of private security from November 1, 2019 to date and beyond, and even during LOO’s tenure of office. Furthermore, the judge said Saleshando is entitled to the provision of security guards at his private residence and for its payment.

Therefore, the government of Botswana shall provide Saleshando with security guards at his residence during his tenure as the LOO. “The government shall settle all further invoices issued to the provision of private security services to the application during his tenure as the Leader of the Opposition of Parliament. The applicant shall be entitled to the payment of private security through a security company currently (Black Bone) Pty Ltd not currently contracted by the government.

In the event the hourly rate of Black Bone Pty Ltd or any security company the applicant may engage exceeded those of the security of the government would have engaged, the applicant shall pay the differences in excess between the rate of the two security companies. All invoices will henceforth be settled by the government within 14 days of their issuance,” he said. When denying the LOO security, President Masisi had insisted that Parliament should identify and appoint security providers for Saleshando’s residence, contrary to the provisions of the law.

This led to the matter being taken to the High Court by LOO as he felt that he was being denied his right as the opposition leader. The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) spokesperson Mpho Pheko said they are happy with the outcome of the matter. “As the BCP, we hope that the government is going to abide and cooperate with the order of the court. The law has been very clear on the issue but someone just wanted to become impossible on the issue. Finally, justice has prevailed on the issue because our president has been paying the security company using his personal money,” Pheko said.

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