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Customary court presiding officers to be trained

CONFIDENT: Autlwetse

Assistant Minister of Local government and Rural Development, Kgotla Autlwetse, has informed Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that his ministry is embarking on a series of capacity building initiatives to train customary court presiding officers.

Autlwetse was answering a question from Specially Elected Member of the house, Oatleng Setlhodi, who had asked if there were any plans to capacitate customary court presiding officers on legal studies or introduction to law.

In response, Autlwetse said the ministry, through the Department of Tribal Administration has collaborated with the office of the Attorney General to embark on a series of capacity building initiatives in relation to law which include customary courts.

“Presiding Officers in districts such as North West, Chobe and part of central which includes Mahalapye, Palapye, Serowe, Tonota and Bobonong have already been trained and this training will continue to be undertaken on an annual basis to cover other districts,” Autlwetse informed Ntlo Ya Dikgosi.

In addition, the Assistant Minister told the house that the Ministry is also in discussions with Botswana Public Service College to develop training modules for Dikgosi which will start in 2021/2022.

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Customary Courts Presiding Officers have often found themselves under fire for allegedly delivering judgments that are not in line with the offence as well as going above board when administering punishment such as corporal punishment.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi has told House of Chiefs that he is aware of lack of no patrol routes for security personnel in the Tuli Block along the international boundary.

Mmusi was answering a question posed by Member of the House for Bobirwa Region, Ezekiel Joel, who wanted to know from the minister how border patrols are carried out without patrol routes.

“The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) patrols negotiate for their access through farms with affected farm owners. It should be noted that not all the farmers cooperate in allowing access,” said Mmusi.

He noted that plans were underway for government to engage owners of farms that are along the Limpopo River.

“The same engagement has been done and concluded with farmers in Ghanzi whose farms extended to the border line,” he said.

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