Sunday, April 11, 2021

A constitutional lawyer tips BCP on how to approach the AB case

Bongi Radipati, a constitutional law academic at the University of Botswana, says it will be difficult for the Botswana Congress Party to convincingly argue before the courts to stop the privatization of Air Botswana.

The BCP has recently made known their intention to go to court to challenge efforts by cabinet to proceed with the privatization of Air Botswana notwithstanding a parliamentary motion calling for the immediate suspension of the negotiations leading thereto.

In an interview, Radipati said the BCP would face the almost insurmountable task of convincing the courts of the “special interest” in the case.

He said the best way to go about it would be to get an employee of Air Botswana to lodge the case.
“It would be easy with an Air Botswana employee because they will show the courts that they are in the risk of being laid off as a result of an exercise that is questionable,” said Radipati.

He said Air Botswana employees are much more “peculiarly affected” by the privatization of the airline than the BCP.

He said because the employees stand to lose out directly from the privatisation, the courts are likely inclined to be sympathetic to them than to the BCP.
Another option, said Radipati, would be for a Member of Parliament who participated in the passing of the Privatisation Policy to go to court and argue that the spirit of the policy is being violated.

“Such an MP would tell the court that he or she knows the rationale behind the passing of the Privatisation Policy and say it is not being followed as parliament had envisaged,” said Radipati.
He said such a Member of Parliament, like the Air Botswana employee, is likely to succeed because they have “special and peculiar” interest in the privatisation of the airliner.


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