In a rare twist of events, the Deputy Attorney General (Civil Litigation), Abraham Merryweather Keetshabe, has withdrawn his resignation.
Keetshabe had tendered his resignation at the beginning of the month at a time when the Attorney General’s Chambers had been hit by a spate of unexpected resignations of high ranking lawyers, a development which was recently decried by Botswana Democratic Party chairman and Molepolole South Member of Parliament, Daniel Kwelagobe, when debating the budget allocation for the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security.
Keetshabe confirmed in an interview with The Sunday Standard that he had withdrawn the bombshell resignation citing personal reasons.
“Yes, I have withdrawn. The reasons are personal and I do not want to share them with anybody including my colleagues in the office,” was all Keetshabe said at the time of going to press.
It is not clear whether anybody had prevailed over him to stay on. Sources within the government enclave say that Kwelagobe, as his MP, could have prevailed over him to stay on.
Keetshabe, aged 47, had just crossed the early retirement age of 45 years by two years when he tendered his resignation, which he had preferred to call a retirement instead.
It was rumoured at the time that his resignation was motivated by his failed bid to get an appointment at the more lucrative bench post of a judge.
The exuberant government lawyer has had an illustrious career in the government as a magistrate, Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court as well as a Deputy Attorney General. He was the first Motswana to be appointed to the post of Chief Magistrate.
His resignation had been viewed as a serious brain drain to the Attorney General’s Chambers, following the departures of former Director of Public Prosecutions, Leatile Dame, and her deputy, Phadi Solomon, who were both appointed High Court judges.
Another senior government lawyer who was appointed a judge is Tshepo Motswagole, formerly an Assistant Attorney General.
Keetshabe’s withdrawal is viewed by some within government as a big relief for Attorney General Dr Athalia Molokomme who has been grappling with the mass exodus of senior lawyers who have the much needed clout for her office.
At the time of his resignation, it was wondered why government had not been able to retain him given the high rate of resignation of senior lawyers who were not easy to replace.