Friday, May 7, 2021

Judge to preside over Corruption Court appointed

Francistown High Court judge Tshepho Motshwagole is set to preside in the newly established Corruption Court. The Court is based in Gaborone.

The Corruption Court was established to specifically deal with corruption cases after the realization that, at times, constitutional issues that magistrates cannot deal with are raised during hearing of corruption cases.

This then necessitates that such cases be referred to the High Court, which has powers to deal with constitutional issues. It is hoped that the establishment of the court will deal with this problem and allow cases to proceed.

Though the Court is based in Gaborone, it is expected that the judge will at times visit various centers in the country to deal with similar cases.

Amongst the cases that the Court is expected to deal with will be a high profile corruption case in which the Deputy Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Vincent Seretse, together with businessman Paul Paledi, are facing corruption charges related to the awarding of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation tender to Serala company, owned by Paledi at a time Seretse was the Chief Executive Officer of BTC.

Late last year, Gaborone lawyer Mboko Chilisa, representing Paledi, told a magistrate presiding over the case that the corruption Court cannot try his client but the argument was quickly dismissed by the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Leonard Sechele, who told the Court that DPP has unfettered discretion to charge anyone at a court of its choice except at customary court.

It is believed that the establishment of the Court will earn Botswana praise amongst international corruption fighting bodies as a show of political willingness to fight corruption.
Botswana is listed as the least corrupt country in Africa.

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