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Tafa backs Kamal in Masisi legitimacy case

Publishing Date : 14 January, 2019


Longtime Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyer, Parks Tafa’s invisible hand has come to surface this week, with revelations indicating the former party advisor is playing in key role in ensuring that Kamal Jacobs triumphs against President Mokgweetsi Masisi.  

This publication has it in good authority that Tafa is the engineer behind Tamocha’s filing affidavits. Tamocha made a slippery of the tongue when he told court that Tafa who is Khama’s attorney had called him the previous night when asked about the affidavit. Tafa has been part of the integral BDP set-up since the 1990s, and played a key role in the process which led to the review of BDP constitution and national constitution from 1995-1997. He is believed to savvy with the BDP constitution, adding credence to Kamal’s case.

Tafa is a close ally of former Presidnet, Lt Gen Ian Khama, who has since fell out with his successor, a war that continues to play itself out in public. Tafa could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press regarding his role in the Kamal case against Masisi.  High Court Judge Michael Mothobi is expected to make a ruling on the matter of urgency next week.    

Appearing before Judge Mothobi of Gaborone High Court this week, the attorney representing Kamal Jacobs in President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and others, Kagisano Tamocha argued that Presidential Immunity as instituted by the Attorney General is not applicable because the case deals with the BDP constitution and not that of the country.

While they presented their heads of arguments the AG who are cited as the Amicus curiae or friend of the court argued that it is common course that President Masisi has colloquially immunity according to Section 41 of the Constitution of Botswana.  The Attorney General represented by Otlaadisa Kwape said Masisi should have never been cited as a respondent in the case. “The constitution provides that no civil proceedings should be instituted against his/ her official or private capacity as stated in section 41.

The Attorney General continues to argue that the 2009 Gomolemo Motswaledi versus the Botswana Democratic (BDP) which ruled in favor of Presidential Immunity is not distinguishable in the case.  It is said in the Motswaledi case the court refused to allow the 3rd new category of representation whilst the constitution only talks of two. The president can only be sued in his official and private capacity, there is nothing like ‘representation’. “In this case the president is sued in his private capacity therefore immune”, they argued.

While debating his arguments Tamocha said the orders sort against Masisi in his private capacity as a member of the 1st respondent (BDP). Tamocha argued that Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama who is cited as the 3rd respondent in the matter, is the substantive and lawful President of the BDP. Tamocha asked the court to make a finding as whether Masisi holding the office of the presidency of the BDP in accordance with the constitution of the BDP.

Through an affidavit Former president Khama is expected to testify to court on whether he did resign as BDP president and therefore opening a vacancy to be filled by his then Vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi or not. Masisi has since became the state president and it is still not clear whether he became the party leader too. According to Tamocha, they also believed that Masisi would either have to withdraw his immunity under section 41 of the country’s constitution to allow for a proper determination of the question brought forth in relation to the presidency of the BDP.

He said this bearing in mind that one of their prayers to court were seeking that the sitting of Committees of the Central Committee including the Committee headed by the 4th respondent (Peter Siele) in terms of article 33 of the constitution of the 1st respondent (BDP), and the appeals committee is not proper because they have not been appointed by a substantive president, whom they believe it should have been Khama and not Masisi.



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