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BDP quash UDC election petitions

•UDC’s petitions do not incriminate our candidates- BDP

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Botswana Democratic Party has moved swiftly to counter a petition lodged by the Umbrella for Democratic Change before the courts seeking nullification of election results in some of the constituencies that were won by the ruling party.

The Voice is in possession of the notices to oppose by the BDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) lawyers. The BDP has made known their intentions to have the UDC petitions quashed through points of law.

The BDP, through court papers served to the UDC this Wednesday, point out to certain irregularities and failure on the part of the UDC to meeting certain requirements to constitute a petition according to the Electoral Act.

In the court papers the BDP say that it is common knowledge that the UDC want the High Court to declare the constituencies void on the basis of corrupt practices, commission of illegal practices by the BDP, DISS and connivances of certain officers employed by the IEC.

“The petitions do not disclose facts necessary to enable the High Court to make a decision under Section (105) 1 of the Electoral Act. Without these material facts the High Court cannot void the election. The remedy is therefore not available to the petitioners,” read the court papers.

The BDP through their lawyers further state that the petitioners attribute the commission of the corrupt illegal practices to certain officers from the BDP being President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Satar Dada, Mpho Balopi, Dr Comma Serema, Banks Kentse and Moemedi Baikalafi aided by the DISS and certain officers from the IEC.

The BDP argues that the UDC failed to prove that the candidates in the disputed constituencies were engaged in “the commission of corrupt and illegal practices of BDP candidates or with the knowledge and or consent of any of their election or polling agents. The candidates have not been put on notice that the corrupt and illegal practices are attributed to them or their polling agents,”

The BDP also dismiss other petitioners citing that in other constituencies the UDC failed to give the other candidates including those of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) the chance to participate in the election petition. “They say they consulted Ndaba Gaolathe but he was not the candidate of the constituencies in question,” the BDP argue.

Turning to the affidavits made by Baikalafi, which the UDC heavily rely on, the BDP have also quashed his claims citing that they are not lawfully authenticated.

“Without a verifying affidavit, the petition in so far as they relate to ascertation attributed to Moemedi Baikalafi are a nulidity,” the papers read.

The main respondents, the IEC which is the body responsible for the running of the electoral process, on the other hand argue that their part in the petitions is not clearly stated by the UDC- as the law dictates.

They further argue that the IEC is not properly before court in respect that all remedies and reliefs that the petitioner seeks against the commission are incompetent. “This is more so the Petitioner challenges the elections that were conducted by the 1st respondent (the IEC).”

The UDC and its candidates are expected to respond to the BDP and thereafter a date will be set for arguments. The judges have said that the cases are a matter of urgency and should be dealt with and disposed of in 90 days (by next year February).

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BDF Major accused of raping colleague’s wife

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A Botswana Defence Force soldier, Major Mmusi Olefile, appeared before a Molepolole Magistrates court last Thursday charged with the rape of his colleague’s wife following a drinking spree at a pool party.

The state alleges that the 36-year-old soldier on March 24th, 2019 at Thebephatshwa Air Base, where he is currently stationed, raped his 33-year-old victim.

It is alleged that on the fateful day Olefile and the victim who is the wife to his co-worker who is also a Major, met at the pool party that was held at the camp.

Later on in the morning at around 0500hrs the woman was dropped off by her friends at her house as she was too drunk to drive, and Olefile is said to have then followed her and entered her house through the window and raped her.

The victim is said to have informed her friends and husband who was attending a military course in Nigeria at the time.

The matter was then reported before the military police before the case was opened at Molepolole police station.

Olefile pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him and the prosecution did not oppose his bail application.

Magistrate Kefilwe Resheng granted Olefile a P3000.00 conditional bail and ordered him to provide two sureties who would bind themselves with the same amount each.

Final case management conference was set for April 28th, 2020, while trial dates have been scheduled for  9th and 10th June, 2020.

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For denying me sex you die

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HORNY HUSBAND IN COURT FOR THREAT TO KILL

A horny 40-year-old man is said to have threatened to kill his wife, allegedly brandishing a loaded gun in her face when she refused to have sex with him.

Although Buddah Moabi reportedly also promised to shoot his two daughters as well as himself, he has only been charged with a single count of threat to kill.

The threat against Patience Moabi is believed to have been uttered on Sunday night at the couple’s matrimonial home in Maun’s Boronyane ward.

Speaking to Okavango Voice outside Maun Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Prosecutor Paul Basupi revealed the Moabis’ had been having ‘misunderstandings’ in their marriage, with their parents often having to intervene.

“Their problems heightened on the 11th of January when the accused asked for his conjugal rights and the wife declined citing that she’s not feeling well. However, later she gave in to his demands,” claimed Basupi, adding Buddah again requested sex the next night.

“Again on the 12th the accused asked his wife to have sexual intercourse with him but the wife went to the bathroom to bath. It is alleged that the accused followed her to the bathroom and they bathed together, at the same time uttering words of insult to his wife.”

According to the prosecutor, the insults rose to a deadly new level in the bedroom.

“The wife finished bathing and went to the bedroom where the accused followed her, holding his gun with four live ammunitions. Moabi showed his wife the ammunition and told her that the first is for her and two for their daughters with the final bullet for him. The accused then pointed the gun towards his wife and told her whether she likes it or not she is going to have sex with him. The wife screamed and he left her,” continued Basupi.

Despite the seriousness of the accusations, the couple seemed to have reconciled and even shared a quick kiss when court went into recess.

Buddah, who works as an Engineer for BTC, was released on conditional bail. He was ordered to leave the matrimonial home immediately and to stay away until the case’s conclusion.

He was also told that contact with the complainant was to be limited to cellphone calls specifically regarding his children’s welfare. Otherwise, he is not to contact or visit his wife.

The accused is also expected to report to Maun Police Station monthly.

Buddah is due back in court on 24 February.

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An Eye for What?

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Sunday. Almost noon in Gaborone. From the pulpit, Pastor Godwill’s beady eyes follow his most-trusted foot soldiers lug bags of tithes behind a curtain where the money counting takes place.

With such a generous flock, he will move the church out of the tent into a proper building before Easter.

He will buy a house, then a jet. He raises his hands and sways to the rhythm of the closing hymn.

The church goers dissect the homily and sing the pastor’s praises as they file into the sunlight: “Oh, God! Daddy was on point today.” “May he stay blessed.” “Halleluja, Pastor.” “Amen, Pastor.”

No one notices a young man who has been skulking around the parking lot. He sidles up to a gleaming, new, black SUV.

Big lettering on the side proclaims ‘The Church of New Life’.

It belongs to the pastor—a Christmas gift from a recently-born again member.

He peers inside. Bibles, prayer books. More Bibles. The big money briefcase is not there.

He continues to pad, cat-like, around the bumper-to-bonnet filled parking lot. In another car he spies a woman’s handbag lodged under the driver’s seat. A purse peeps out.

The young man steals a quick look around him but sees someone approaching, so he moves on to another car.

He tests the driver’s door. It is locked, but the cellphone in the storage compartment tempts him, and his time is running out.

He picks up a brick and hurls it at window, shattering the glass.

As the alarm rings, he slides his arm inside and pulls out the cellphone.

Weaving between the cars, he makes for the main gate. Someone shouts. “Legodu!” Again. “Legoooodu!” Louder the second time.
It’s like a siren screaming. The able-bodied give chase. Men, women and children emerge from their makeshift shops, from houses to join in.

“Legodu!”Dogs bark the word. Cats meow the word. Cows moo it. Goats bleat it.

The whole neighbourhood emerges to bear witness.

The young man flies towards the main road. If he can cross the highway, he will melt into the bush and then he will be out of reach, but cars and trucks speed up and down the road. He cannot get across, so he off-loads his loot.

But it is too late for him. A man with biceps the size of the thief’s calves grabs him by his waistband and slams him to pavement. The swelling crowd, cheers.

A slap, a kick, a pinch. Another man fetches a sjambok from his boot.

It whistles as it slices the air, cracks as it lands on the thieves back. Once. Twice. Again. Once more.

A woman who was walking to the Kombi stop cannot resist.

She tucks her Bible into her bag and tugs off her stilettoes. She whacks the thief. Punctuates her words with blow: “You.” Rap. “Little.” Rap. “Bastard.” Rap! Rap! Rap! “That’s for the one who stole my purse.” She stands back and gives way for a man to land his punch.

The cheers grow louder.

A woman driving past slows down to see what is happening. She cannot bear to watch.

She pulls off the road to speak into her phone. “They are going to beat him to death,” she reports.

“Please hurry.” Tears roll down her face.

By the time the police arrive, the young man is soaked in a red sea.

The men in blue-grey uniforms leap from their vehicle.

One of them charges through the crowd that refuses to part.

When he finally reaches the young man, it is to confirm that his life has been stolen.

And still, the crowd cheers.

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