Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Government remains mum on Judges’ appointments

Despite several meetings convened by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) there is still no word from the Office of the President as to who have been selected to fill the two posts for judges, which were recently advertised in the local media.

Earlier this year, President Seretse Khama Ian Khama shocked the JSC when he rejected the candidates that they had recommended for appointment to the bench.

The JSC had recommended that former parliamentary counsel Lizo Ncgoncgo, Francistown-based lawyer Gabriel Komboni and Acting Judge Gabriel Rwelengera be appointed to the positions of judges. Their recommendation was snubbed by President Ian Khama.

Following the rejection, the JSC was forced to re-advertise the posts and come up with new names. While the JSC has met twice in the last two months, first on November 16th and again on December 2nd , there is still no word from either the JSC or the Office of the president as to who has been appointed as judges.

The two meetings were confirmed to The Sunday Standard by the Registrar and Master of the High Court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, who stated that the issue of appointment of judges was in the agenda. He, however, said that he does not know which candidates have been recommended by the JSC for possible appointment.

“I do not know who were chosen for the posts at the moment, and I do not know when such information will be available,” said Nthomiwa.

Asked if the delay in appointing the judges does not negatively affect productivity in the judicial sector, Nthomiwa said that it is obvious that delivery of justice is delayed by lack of enough judges, and that the sooner they are nominated the better.
”The delay is, of course, affecting delivery of justice and our hope is that they are chosen sooner rather than later,” he said.

A number of lawyers in private practice have in the past raised complaints about the slow pace with which justice is delivered in Botswana, adding that the delay in appointing judges is an aggravating factor.

The vacancies at the High Court come after the exit of former judges Thomas Masuku, John Mosojane and Unity Dow.


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