Thursday, July 18, 2024

Moswaane withdraws food relief case against gov’t

Francistown West Member of Parliament Ignatius Moswaane has withdrawn his Covid-19 food relief packages case against government.

The controversial legislator had filed an urgent application with Francistown High Court Judge Matlhogonolo Phuthego seeking an order to compel the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to assist Batswana with food packages during the recent lockdown period in the Greater Gaborone area.

The two-week lockdown was lifted last week Thursday midnight.

On Friday morning as the case was about to commence, he told court that he could not proceed with the case due to unforeseen legal ramifications.

“I have decided to withdraw the matter. When I started this matter I was not aware of its legal implications, hence my withdrawal,” he told the court.

The Ministry of Local Government was cited as the first respondent while the Attorney General (AG) was the second respondent.  The first respondent was represented by Ndiye Balule from the AG who did not object to the withdrawal. Balule made an application for the court to give an order regarding costs to be agreed.

“A withdrawal such as this one, is tantamount to a loss,” he added.

Giving his ruling Justice Phuthego granted a withdrawal and agreed with the Ministry’s lawyer that Moswaane should bear the legal costs.

Moswaane has since tendered his resignation from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and is yet to announce his next political home. He had been suspended from the party after he was accused of “dragging the party name into disrepute,” Last week as he announced his resignation to his constituents in Francistown he attacked the BDP politicians for using Corvid 19 pandemic as a vehicle for corruption.

Moswaane had complained in his court papers that while government established the Corvid-19 food relief program and made an undertaking through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to provide food packages during the lockdown periods, it had failed to live up to its promise.

He further accused the government for not doing much to help disadvantaged members of the community such as diabetic patients, chronic disease patients, unemployed breastfeeding mothers, unemployed youths and the informal sector which survives through hand to mouth.

He also added that people with temporary jobs were also adversely impacted by the lockdown but were neglected by government. Moswaane also pointed a blaming finger to the government of lacking a multi-sectoral committee that deals with issues which affect the society. He said instead, the government was violating socio economic values by denying people permits, food and the right to fend for themselves.

He further complained in the court papers that government was not contributing anything to assist or investigate on how people survive during the lockdowns. He added that when government imposed the recent lockdown, it failed to discuss the matter as to how the needy would be assisted.

“It is my desire to defend and provide for the people because I know the pain of hunger,” he said in his court papers.


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