Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Lawyers drag Kwelagobe, BDP to court in Motswaledi case

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman, Daniel Kwelagobe, is set to appear before the Village Magistrate to explain whether or not the ruling party had ever requested a legal opinion from the law firm Collins Legal Consultants.

Collins Legal Consultants have dragged the BDP before the magistrate and are demanding payment for a legal opinion that suggested that, in terms of the party’s constitution, President Ian Khama has no power to make unilateral decisions.

The BDP, which has refused to pay, insists that the fees for the legal opinion have to be paid by the party’s banished former general secretary, Gomolemo Motswaledi. The party has thus, through its lawyers, Collins Newman and Company, enlisted Motswaledi as a party to the case and contend that he be made to pay the debt because he did not have permission to solicit legal opinions.

According to the BDP, Motswaledi ‘was on a frolic of his own, completely unconnected with the business of the BDP.

A close source at the Village Magistrate revealed this week that a subpoena had already been issued against the BDP chairman following a request by Collins Legal Consultants.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Kwelagobe indicated that he had not been served with any subpoena.
“I have not received it,” Kwelagobe said earlier this week.

Prior to his banishment from the party, Motswaledi told the BDP’s disciplinary committee that President Khama was not opposed to the soliciting of legal opinions to determine whether, in terms of the BDP constitution, he welds the power to make unilateral decisions without consulting the party’s central committee.

Motswaledi said that they met at Khama’s office along with Kwelagobe, where a resolution was taken that the party should solicit opinions on the President’s powers. This, however, has been denied by the party President. It remains to be seen what Kwelagobe’s testimony will be after he failed to appear as a witness for Motswaledi when called as a witness in Motswaledi’s case before the party’s disciplinary committee.

The dispute surrounding who should foot the bill for the legal opinion, which has already escalated into a court case, has so far led MPs Guma Moyo, Wynter Mmolotsi and Kabo Morwaeng to resign from the BDP central committee.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.