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Court orders Government to respond to KBL by Thursday

Gaborone High Court Judge, Justice Tshepo Motswagole has ordered Government to respond to an urgent application by Kgalagadi Breweries Proprietary Limited (KBL) which seeks- amongst others, to reverse the imposed alcohol ban by Thursday (July 15, 2021).

In the order, Justice Motswagole also asks Chief Justice to consider appointing a panel of judges to hear the matter.

Both parties have also been ordered to file their heads of argument by July 27th.

In the matter, KBL has dragged the Attorney General, President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Director of Health Services to court over the Government notice No.362 of 2021 issued in terms of the emergency powers act (CAP 22:04) as read with the emergency powers (Covid-19) regulations,2020 and published by the Director of Health Services which effectively banned the sale of alcohol which is KBL’s main line of business and operation.

In court papers seen by The Voice Online, an affidavit deposed by Brenno Kliger Diaz, who is the Managing Director of KBL, he argued that President Masisi has no authority to suspend the sale of alcohol.

The court papers read in part, “The crux of this application is whether he President acted lawfully when he issued Government notice No 362 of 2021 issued in terms of the emergency powers act (CAP 22:04) as read with the emergency powers (Covid-19) regulations, 2020 decreeing a wholesale ban on the sale of alcohol in Botswana. This application is brought to challenge the lawfulness and validity of impunged notice…the effect of this notice is to impose a total ban on liquor sales, including products manufactured and distributed by KBL.”

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KBL in their urgent application further argue that regulation 30 G empowers the director of health services, in consultation with the President, to lift a restriction referred to in the regulations.

@sharonmathala
Sharonm@thevoicebw.com

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