The Botswana Democratic Party’s suspended secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, stands to face his organisation’s disciplinary committee to be chaired by Ambrose Masalila tomorrow, Monday, to answer to charges laid against him by MP, Shaw Kgathi.
Motswaledi had wanted the disciplinary hearing postponed until the Court of Appeal decides his application for reinstatement as party secretary and candidate for Gaborone Central.
In his letter, Motswaledi informs the BDP disciplinary committee that he has appealed the decision of the High Court which held that Khama cannot be sued for suspending him from the party because he enjoys immunity as the sitting President of Botswana.
“If the disciplinary proceeding is held on the 28 September 2009, it will pre-empt the appeal and prejudice me. That makes the matter the subject of appeal, and by extension, the subject of disciplinary proceedings should be treated as sub judice. Accordingly, I request that the disciplinary hearing be held in abeyance pending the hearing and determination of the appeal, “reads the letter from Motswaledi.
However, the committee was unwavering in its response. It states that after considering Motswaledi’s request, it cannot accede to it.
“The disciplinary committee is for the hearing to go ahead on the said date, time and venue of 28 September and at this hearing you may present your request before the committee, “states a responding letter addressed by the committee’s secretary, Lee Lesetedi.
In a separate interview, attorney Sidney Pilane, who will accompany Motswaledi before the disciplinary committee, confirmed that they will appear before the committee tomorrow
“We are hoping they will agree to our request for a postponement,” Pilane said. Motswaledi’s appeal will be heard by a full bench of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning.
Motswaledi faces a charge of misconduct because “he conducted himself in a manner that brings discredit and disrepute to the party contrary to Article 6 of the Party”, according to Kgathi.
He is accused of making unilateral decisions and questioning the decisions of the President to appoint sub-committee members, extend party executive secretary, Dr Batlang Serema’s contract, and rebuking party law firm, Collins and Newman for publishing information about the party’s internal matters without the central committee’s consent.
Kgathi says, “Motswaledi has failed to show high political and moral qualities and selfless dedication to the cause of the party.”
Motswaledi is further accused of acting contrary to Article 14.2 of the BDP constitution by failing to adhere to party objectives, aims and party policy and to behave in consonance ‘therewith and with dignity and propriety in order to propagate the good image of the party and not to embarrass the party by any misconduct”.