Thursday, July 7, 2022

Another lawyer takes aim at parliamentary report on BDC

Two top Botswana Development Corporation BDC employees, Maria Nthebolan and Sametsi Ditshupo, implicated in the controversial Palapye grass project, have engaged a lawyer to challenge the validity of the findings of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee.

Nthebolan is BDC Managing Director, while Ditshupo was until recently a General Manager responsible for business development.

Busang Manewe of the law firm Bogopa, Manewe, Tobedza and Co has essentially rubbished the findings of the select committee of parliament and said he intends to challenge the report in court.

“I am busy processing the court papers in which I will be challenging the validity of the findings by the parliamentary select committee before the court of law,” Manewe said.

He said the parliamentary report has very serious implications against his clients as they may expose both Nthebolan and Ditshupo to criminal or civil charges.

Manewe said that his clients could have been given an opportunity to make representation.

“There was no fairness during the enquiry and there was also a lack of transparency,” he said.
On the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime DCEC Manewe said, “I am not sure whether DCEC is also conducting its own investigation but if it is, we don’t have any problem with their investigation as it is their mandate to do so.”

However he said his clients have instructed him to sue a number of media houses for impairment of dignity.

“This week on Tuesday I will serve a number of Newspapers and radio stations with a law suit of P1 million.”

He said his clients were greatly disturbed by the fact that their bank accounts were paraded publicly without permission.

The attorney said he has also been instructed to pursue individuals who divulged his clients bank statements because there has been a breach of confidentiality between the banks and his clients.
“We intend to sue the banks for divulging confidential information,” he stated.

But there are opposing views who say nullifying the BDC report is no easy task as it was compiled in terms of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act. The Act grants the committee to regulate its own procedure during an enquiry.

This view holds that the report also enjoys some level of immunity from scrutiny by the courts.
The all party caucus will meet this week to discuss the BDC report.


Read this week's paper