Finance Minister Ken Matambo today (Wednesday) walked out of court a free man after Village Magistrate Lenah Mokibe-Oahile upheld his exception application for his charges to be dropped.
Magistrate Mokibe ÔÇôOahile agreed with defense attorneys Parks Tafa and Lawrence Khupe’s application that Matambo should not have to plea for a charge which does not meet the requirements to lead to a trial. The two argued that the charge sheet does not reflect the offence that Matambo allegedly committed.
Matambo was accused of failing to declare his interest in a company called Tuwana Construction, which had dealings with Botswana Development Corporation, of which Matambo was Chief Executive Officer. At the time, Tuwana was said to be building a house for Matambo in plot 2433, Extension 9. Tafa argued that Section 144(1) of the Criminal Proceedings and Evidence Act and Section 3 of the Constitution protect Matambo’s right not to be put through an unnecessary trial.
The defense said Matambo should not suffer unnecessary reputational damage, pain and suffering, and bear costs of an unnecessary lawsuit, only to find that the charges were baseless and that the prosecution had no prospects of a conviction.
The defense also faulted the state for failing to show how Matambo or any member of his family had any interest in Tuwana, and whether Matambo failed to disclose the nature of such interest. It later emerged that Matambo did not in any way influence or attempt to influence the adjudication process and the eventual awarding of the tender. Documents from the Registrar of Companies also show that neither Matambo nor any member of his family have ever been directors or shareholders of Tuwana.
The house that Tuawana allegedly built for Matambo was actually financed by Botswana Building Society through a P1 million loan.