Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Francistown High Court throws out UDC petitions

DISMISSIVE: Justice Mogomotsi

Two out of a panel of three judges in Francistown yesterday ruled against the Umbrella for Democratic Change election petitioners.

Haskins Nkaigwa, Sam Digwa and Micus Chimbombi had petitioned the Independent Electoral Commission, Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General Mpho Balopi and the Vice President Slumber Tsogwane respectively.

Justices Tshegofatso Mogomotsi, Phadi Solomon and Bashi Moesi read the ruling yesterday at the Francistown Regional Magistrate Court.

While both Mogomotsi and Solomon were unanimous in the ruling, there was however a dissenting judgement from Moesi.

In dismissing the UDC petitions, the two judges unanimously agreed that there was no compliance from the three petitioners.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

They stated that without a proper description of a locus standi (the right or capacity to appear in court), there’s a fundamental irregularity in determining the right of audience before court.

Reading the judgement, Mogomotsi reiterated that an applicant or litigant who fails to make averments (statements) which are necessary to show that he has locus standi does so at their own peril, for it forms the very basis upon which his presence before court draws its life.

“The general rule is that an applicant must stand or fall on its founding affidavit and the facts alleged therein,” Mogomotsi said.

She said the locus standi of IEC who most of the allegations and the petitions are directed has not been adequately provided to satisfy the court regarding its legal capacity to sue or to be sued.

“The fact that IEC is a creature of statute does not automatically clothe it with the requisite locus standi. Not all statutory bodies have the right to sue or be sued in their own names,” she said, adding that it’d be erroneous and presumptive of the court to make such an assumption.

She further said it was not the court’s duty to comb through for papers filed of records in search of the parties locus standi.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

However in his minority ruling, Judge Moesi argued that locus standi is outdated and no longer presents an insurmountable challenge to litigation which has public interest attached to it.

He ruled that the court should proceed to deal with substance of the case.

He said this would be in the interest of justice, the concern of the public and the upholding of the rule of law. Moesi said an election petition falls under the category of constitutional litigation and carries with it considerable public interest.

“In matters of public litigation this court would be remiss and indeed guilty of committing an absurdity if it denies a genuine and bonafide litigant access to justice on a weak argument of lack of standi by the IEC when the constitution clearly assumes that such action should from time to time be taken against such a body,” he said.

The judge said in arriving at his ruling he was guided by the growing jurisprudence in the country which has established the legal positions that the provisions of the rules of court were not adopted by the Electoral Act and were of no application to the the petitions and also that the power of the courts to consider the irregularities of the elections was not derived from any inherent jurisdiction nor did it arise from common law, but was to be found within the corners of the Electoral Statutes.

“Court shall proceed to deal with substance of the case and costs awarded in favour of the petitioners,” Moesi observed although his ruling was defeated by the views of his fellow panelists.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

Entertainment

A romantic get away for olympic medalist Nijel Amos turned out to be a possible worst nightmare for one of the fastest man on...

News

A 30-year-old woman reportedly died after being electrocuted by an electric cable which was lying on the ground from a fallen Botswana Power Corporation...

News

Police in Tutume are investigating a case in which a 25-year-old man allegedly set ablaze his girlfriend’s hut. The incident happened last week Wednesday...

News

WOMAN’S HEARTBREAK FOR SON’S GIRLFRIEND KILLED IN CAR CRASH A devastated mother-in-law to be, Keabonye Ntsabane, has paid tribute to her son’s girlfriend who...

News

Festive ended with fireworks for a married couple in Gamodubu village last Sunday. Sadly it was not the type that light up the sky...

Business

We start the year by featuring Tumelo Pabalinga, the Executive Director of Emergency Assist 991 – previously known as Netcare 991. The Sebina native...

Entertainment

Shaya attended a few music festivals over the festive because it had been a gloomy festive in the recent previous years. Fun was to...

Entertainment

I have made an arrangement with a barbershop in Molepolole; The guy owes me and he may not be able at the moment to...

Politics

A peep into a ‘Dry’ Backbench During the festive holidays, another prominent member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Mpho Balopi resigned from...

Entertainment

It appears specially elected Councillor, Modiri Jojo Lucas’s days as a bachelor are numbered. Yours Truly is reliably informed that the politician, who lost...

Entertainment

Although her music career has hit Mt Kilimanjaro-like heights in recent years, 31-year-old Girlie ‘wa di body’ is in fact a veteran of the...

Entertainment

The second annual Botsalano Cup, an initiative by area Councilor Ontiretse Zuma Baakile is on the cards. The event will be preceded by an...

Politics

As they look to fine-tune their efforts to oust the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from power after 57 years of uninterrupted rule, Alliance for...

Entertainment

Heavy Metal lovers will have a chance to rock out at Trekkers Club next month as ‘the Power Chord Metal Fest’ hits Mogoditshane. Set...

Entertainment

Wame Makhandlela, who goes by the stage name Star Lady, has finally dropped her debut album ‘Malata a Kgosi’. After breaking into the music...

News

A young woman believed to be a victim of a predator dubbed the ‘Mokolodi Monster’ is today expected to come face-to-face with her suspected...

Advertisement

Copyright © TheVoiceBW. (Since1993) made with ❤️ in Botswana.