Justice is expensive!

19th May 2017
ERNESTO'S BRIEF
Column

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By Ernest Moloi -


Events of the past week have proven without a shadow of doubt that President Ian Khama is a shrewd strategist to the core. Besides learning to fly aircraft and other machines at Sandhurst College, SKI must have also found time to study strategy and planning.


I wonder how leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Comrade Duma Boko felt when he learnt that his fellow jurists- practitioners of the law- had gone to apologise to Khama for bringing the name of the Judiciary into disrepute?

Forgiveness for what, I mean the four eminent judges – Rainer Busang, Dr Key Dingake, Modiri Letsididi and Mercy Garekwe – had a case in court? Well, it’d seem justice in this country is very expensive, so expensive that even judges are unable to carry their dispute through the process. From what I discerned in The Patriot on Sunday, the judges are ‘broke’. Indeed, they are.

But when they set out on that noble task against the Chief Justice and the President, did they not know what was at stake? It’d be very naive for us to suppose they didn’t, given their station and ranking in society – they are learned men and woman, more learned than Khama, as Boko would have us believe. These are people that wield so much power.

They can condemn you to die and you’ll be hanged unless the President grants you clemency! But how did we get to this point where judges of the High Court can swallow their pride and throw away principle and genuflect before an ‘uneducated man’ to plead forgiveness? This act is called an admission of guilt by the way. You cannot ask for forgiveness when you feel aggrieved, can you?

Perhaps you can, the lawyers will tell us.I believe that the three men and lady - now cloaked as citizens of Botswana and not robed as Judges of the High Court - had a long soul-searching episode in which they came to realise where the real power in this country lies.And once that realisation had dawned on them, they decided they would make amends with it rather than confront it!

You and I can make all the noise about whether our judiciary will ever be the same again given these men and woman’s conduct? Can we trust them to be independent of the executive that has granted them clemency – all these are fine theoretical questions, but I tell you hunger pangs are no respecters of men nor of professions. There is nothing as painful as going to bed hungry.When you don’t work, you lose your dignity. That is why most people would rather forego principle and integrity than suffer endlessly for a cause. There are many of us across professions yet we are quick to judge and play the holier than thou when one stumbles!


Most people catch hell every day in the civil service, in the private sector and parastatals from bosses who have planted moles on them to frustrate them and make their work a nightmare! Try as they would, the poor souls, don’t have recourse to justice, they never know which way to escape the daily tyranny and eventually conform.


The system has placed its cronies in every sphere of our life, that’s why we have grown so docile and timid! Lord have mercy!




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