Friday, October 23, 2020

Kanjabanga tells court he is a member of the BNF

Four years after he was expelled from the Botswana National Front (BNF) Gabriel Kanjabanga, an attorney by profession on Monday told High Court that he is still a member of the BNF.

Kanjabanga said he has never received any letter from the BNF notifying him of the purported expulsion from the party.

According to court records a letter dated 7th May 2012 expelled Kanjabanga from the party. It was signed by then Acting Secretary General Same Bathobakae. The decision was taken at the BNF special congress held in Mahalapye in 2012. 

Reasons advanced at the time by the party leadership were that Kanjabanga was making the BNF ungovernable. 

But Kanjabanga denies knowledge of the reasons why he was expelled from the BNF and said he only learnt about his expulsion from the BNF through media reports.

Kanjabanga contends that his expulsion was done un-procedurally as far as the constitution of the BNF is concerned.

He is of the view that it is not a congress that takes a decision to expel a member but a ward in the constituency or a Regional Committee. “Congress is a higher structure in the BNF where any member with issues may lodge an appeal. I have never been given a chance for a hearing, I am not aware what I was expelled for, there are no charges and I have never appeared before the BNF disciplinary Committee,” Kanjabanga told court.

He said he never challenged his expulsion with the court because he decided to leave the matter to resolve itself politically.

Kanjabanga is currently suing The Gazette News Paper for defamation, he claims the sum of P500 000 00 against the Gazette for publishing an article titled, “Kanjabanga Ntime de-campaigns BNF in Letlhakeng West”. Kanjabanga says the 2013 article puts him as an irresponsible politician, untrustworthy, an unreliable political turn coat who should not be trusted by those he has been telling that he does not support the Botswana Democratic Party.

During Cross examination Gazette attorney Dick Bayford put it to Kanjabanga that the decision of the congress to expel him was valid until is set aside, Kanjabanga agreed but said that does not necessarily mean that one accept it.

Bayford: Since the decision expelling you from the BNF you seized to be a member of the BNF…

Kanjabanga: I remained defined member of the BNF….

Bayford: Since your expulsion you have never exercised any right associated with being a BNF member….

Kanjabanga: I am an inactive member and I do not desire to run for any office…

Bayford: BNF congress being the supreme organ of the party is entitled to take any decision affecting the organization….

Kanjabanga: Yes but how it takes that decision is another question…

Bayford: BNF congress is entitled to expel a member….

Kanjabanga: Yes provided due processes are followed…

Bayford: What recourse is open for members expelled un-procedurally?

Kanjabanga: members can go to courts or back to congress if leadership approves, I never took any action, I decided to leave it as it is….

Bayford: what were the reasons for your expulsion?

Kanjabanga: I do not know the reasons but it had to do with the fact that I disagreed with BNF joining UDC……

The case continues, Bayford is expected to continue cross examining Kanjabanga today (Tuesday).

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