Sunday, January 16, 2022

Garekwe’s past demons come back to haunt him

The Botswana Congress Party Youth league (BCPYL) has threatened to approach the High Court to reverse Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member Segaetsho Garekwe’s appointment as legal advisor to the Francistown municipality.

Garekwe’s appointment has set tongues wagging not so much that he is not the best lawyer around town, but merely because he is an ex-convict and, in line with the new Public Service Act, should not have been hired except with approval from the Permanent Secretary or the President.

The BCP has called on the Ministry of Local Government to explain why it hired Garekwe, a former ruling party spokesperson, despite the fact that he was found guilty of stealing around P49 000 from the BDP 22 years ago.

“The BCPYL is seeking legal opinion on the matter and is seriously considering taking legal action against Garekwe’s appointment once our lawyers render to us the advice. Garekwe’s credibility and integrity as an ex-convict and BDP activist is highly questionable and it would appear that the latter influenced his appointment,” states the youth organ’s Vice President and University of Botswana lecturer, Dithapelo Keorapetse, in a press statement issued on Friday.

Keorapetse says that Garekwe is not suitable to hold the office because he is an ex-convict.
According to the Youth organ, the BDP has developed a culture of rewarding its activists, including those that lose elections, with jobs in the public service, parastatals, diplomatic posts, specially elected councilors as well as through tenders.

By way of example, the youth wing says that while still employed in the public service, minister of Sports Youth and Culture, Shaw Kgathi, was appointed director under a cloud of suspicion that resulted in a protracted court battle.

“The BDP distributes public offices as patronage, flouting legal rationale and established norms, at the taxpayers’ expense,” says Keorapetse.

The youth wing has appealed to the permanent secretary at Local Government to immediately rescind Garekwe’s appointment.

At the time of going to press Garekwe was not available for comment. However, after being disbarred from practicing law in 1996, Garekwe was admitted back in private practice in 2004 after the Francistown High Court ruled that he was a reformed man.

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