Lobatse High Court Judge, Michael Leburu on Thursday fall short of calling Bank of Botswana a “disgrace” after he ruled that the central bank failed to discharge its statutory functions. The utterance follows a case in which Bank of Botswana is being sued by EBC Guernsey more than P25 million.
According to court records, EBC Guernsey which had and operated a bank account with Kingdom Africa Bank Limited sued BoB as the regulator of commercial banks for its failure to properly regulate Kingdom Bank Limited.
On Thursday, Justice Leburu said that the central bank failed to curb a situation in which it ended up dealing with some “alleged” dishonest lawyers from Collins Newman and Company in trying to defend the P27 million lawsuits from EBC Guernsey.
Judge Leburu blamed BoB on its alleged regulatory lapse in ensuring that they don’t find themselves before courts in trying to defend a case in which EBC had wanted to attach central bank’s properties to reclaim 27 million Pula debt arising from a winding up of the now defunct Kingdom Bank Limited.
Judge Leburu who was delivering a judgment in which Collins Newman and Company made an urgent application to interdict The Business weekly Newspaper from publishing defamatory statement about the law firm said that “the article brings a sharper focus on the alleged regulatory lapse on the part of a key institution within our democratic society namely the BoB in the discharge of its statutory functions over a regulated bank which has since been liquidated and thus there is a need for the public to be appraised on such matters,”
Leburu said from the onset there were some irregularity on the part of BoB because they could have long avoided the mess by making sure that Kingdom bank Limited properly kept its accounts books in order before liquidation.
The bank then instructed Collins Newman and Company to represent them after a default judgment was issued in favour of EBC Guernsey.
Court records shows that after obtaining the subsequent judgment the central bank brought an application to rescind the said judgment.
However the High Court later found out that the central bank through their senior legal associate Bokani Machinya lied to court that Memorandum of appearance to defend on time.
According to records of proceedings BoB deputy governor Moses Pelaelo also lied while under oath that they have properly filed a memorandum of appearance to defend.
‘’On the records of proceedings before me Pelaelo lied under oath and opened himself to perjury. Pelaelo has blindly trusted his attorney ,ignored all the warning signs and allowed himself to be a victim of the deceit perpetrated by his attorneys, said Justice Kebonang in a previous ruling.