Saturday, May 8, 2021

Matambo moves to sue Parliament over BDC Report

Lawyers acting for Finance and Development Planning Minister, Kenneth Ontefetse Matambo, this week notified the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Margaret Nasha, and the Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on the BDC-Fengyue Glass Manufacturing (Botswana), Abraham Kesupile, of their intension to sue Parliament.

The letter from Collins Newman & Co was addressed to Kesupile, the Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on the BDC-Fengyue Glass Manufacturing (Botswana) and was copied to Speaker of Parliament Dr. Margaret Nasha and the Attorney General Chambers.

The letter states that Matambo is aggrieved by the findings of the Committee, its conclusions and recommendations as contained in the report and the manner in which the Committee conducted its hearing.

“In particular, our client states that the Report is fundamentally flawed and therefore liable to be set aside on the basis of one or more of the following; that the investigations and or inquiries on allegations of impropriety relating to the aforesaid manufacturing project were conducted, as against our client and others in a secretive or classified fashion and without complying with the basic tenants of the law with regards to the right to be heard,” say Matambo’s lawyers.

Collins Newman & Co further stated that, according to various newspaper articles, the committee produced the report which allegedly made a number of findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the National Assembly; some of the allegations or findings refer to Matambo and imputes misconduct or impropriety on his part.

The lawyers also accuse the committee of failing or neglecting to afford their client a fair opportunity to be heard before any adverse findings and recommendations were made against him, including the opportunity to confront his accusers.

Matambo’s lawyers argue that the committee relied on hearsay evidence which was untested in arriving at its findings and its conduct in the manner in which it collected evidence, assed the same and arrived at its conclusions and recommendation is riddled with grave errors and is manifestly prejudicial to Matambo.

“In the premises, we advise that had the Committee followed the requirements of the law by, inter alia, not conducting its proceedings in secret; had it allowed our client to be present at the hearing and to cross-examine his accusers, it would not have reached the findings and conclusion that it did,” contend the lawyers.

They say the Committee’s findings and recommendations in so far as it relates to Matambo are therefore tainted with gross irregularity and susceptible to be reviewed or set aside.

“We accordingly call upon you to withdraw the relevant adverse finings and insinuations made in the report against our client, failing which we have instructions to institute review proceedings against the Committee and the Speaker of Parliament. We trust that will not prove necessary,” say the lawyers.

The lawyers also demand that Matambo be furnished with a copy of the Report, adding that despite the fact that such a report has apparently been quoted extensively by the press he had not been given it.

“By copy of this letter, the Attorney General is put on notice of the contemplated legal proceedings for purposes of compliance with provisions of the State Proceedings (Civil Action by or Against Public Officers) Act (Cap.10:01),” concludes the letter from Matambo’s lawyers.

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