FRANCISTOWN ÔÇô Its been three months since Francistown has been without a Chief Magistrate.
This follows the expiry of Kenneth Obeng’s contract last July.
Although he has applied for contract renewal by the end of business on Friday, Obeng was not sure if his contract had been renewed or not.
Obeng told Sunday Standard that, since July, he is on leave, pending the outcome of his application.
The Registrar of the High Court Godfrey Ntlhomiwa, said he is aware of the situation in Francistown, and said the matter is receiving his attention.
In the meantime, the Francistown magistrates’ court is inundated with a backlog of cases due to a shortage of staff. In an earlier interview, Obeng said his schedule was full until December.
If his contract is not renewed, he would leave a lot of cases.
In his absence, Francistown has only two magistrates, and one is said to be about to go on a study leave.
Principal Magistrate, Felicity Sigweni, who is in charge in the absence of Obeng, could not field any questions from Sunday Standard, preferring to refer us to the High Court registrar.
Nthomiwa said Obeng’s contract was still under consideration and a final decision had not yet been made. He said he appreciated the urgency of the matter, in view of the shortage of magistrates in Francistown, but urged the people to be patient until a decision is made.
Nthomiwa’s call for patience was quashed by one Neo Marobela who has been waiting for months to have her case heard.
She wants action taken against the father of her four children, who she said has stopped supporting them.