Speaker acts on BCP’s constitutional challenge

18th April 2018
MADAM SPEAKER: Gladys Kokorwe Source:The Midweek Sun


By Nicholas Mokwena - Reporter

Speaker of National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe says her legal team is dealing with the matter by Botswana Congress Party (BCP) regarding President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s powers.

BCP has written to the Speaker through its lawyers Dingake Law Partners on ‘Election of the President of the Republic of Botswana’ under Section 35 (4) as read with Section 35 (5) of the Constitution of Botswana. This is with regards to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s powers to appoint Vice President and dissolve Parliament. Masisi became President on April 1, 2018 taking from his predecessor Ian Khama through automatic succession. On the 4th of April 2018 Masisi appointed Slumber Tsogwane as his Vice President.

The BCP argues that Masisi does not have such powers under the Constitution as he was not elected. After Kokorwe failed to undertake to convene Parliament to elect the president last week, the BCP filed its court papers. BCP Publicity and Information Secretary Dithapelo Keorapetse confirmed this development last week Friday.

This week Kokorwe when responding to questions during a media briefing revealed that her lawyers are handling the matter. “The BCP matter has those people who are involved. Since the BCP written (sic) to me through their lawyers, I have since given the matter to my lawyers who are in contact with the BCP lawyers”, said Kokorwe who is represented by Attorney General. She said the matter would be dealt with accordingly if it does reach the court. BCP has indicated that it would approach the court on urgency basis for intervention.

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