Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader Dumelang Saleshando and Umbrella for Democratic Change UDC) leader Duma Boko are calling for the resignation of Attorney General Anthalia Molokomme.
This comes after the AG together with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lost an appeal in a case in which she was challenging the constitutionality of standing orders that prescribe the election of the Speaker and Vice President and the endorsement of the Vice President.
Last month Molokomme instituted legal proceedings in the High Court on an urgent basis to determine the constitutionality of certain Standing Orders of the National Assembly relating to the election of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the endorsement of the Vice President. The case was dismissed by the High Court but the AG appealed and the matter was thrown out by the Court of Appeal.
Opposition parties are of the same view that the AG has derailed from protecting the constitution and more focused in serving the interest of the BDP and President Ian Khama.
Boko wants Molokomme to pay costs from her own pockets. “The Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme should pay the costs out of her own pocket or do the honourable thing of resigning from her office,” he said.
Boko is of the view that the BDP has learnt that not everything has to be rushed through to court.
“The BDP should get its house in order,” he says.
BCP leader Saleshando supported Boko’s arguments, saying going forward they cannot trust Attorney General to be the true custodian of the constitution of Botswana. He said Molokomme acts on political convenience for her principals.
“She ought to know that she is answerable to the nation not the head of state. Her mandate is to advice the president not to try to facilitate the interest of the president. She has completely misunderstood her role as the Attorney General, her role is to protect and reserve the values of the constitution not the Botswana Democratic Party. As it is at the moment she is behaving as a BDP functionary, and I think she is certainly not fit for the AG office,” Saleshando said.
The BCP leader said if he was Molokomme he would have long resigned before the case reached the Court of Appeal.
“If I were her I could have long resigned before the appeal was heard because the writing was clearly on the wall at the High Court. I just do not understand why she even continued to pursue this matter on appeal; what was she hoping to achieve?” said Saleshando.
Saleshando said in any case the attorney representing AG had nothing to offer the court. He said it was clear because they did not believe in this case but just wanted to serve the interest of their political master (Khama).
“That is very wrong and I hope it is a lesson for all those that in future will ascend to the office of Attorney general. They should know that they serve the nation not the ruling party, not the president,” he said.
He said the court case was unnecessary because the standing orders have been in operation since 1998 and Khama was even endorsed in 1998 through a secret ballot.
“If it suited him why is it not appropriate for others? Really he has wasted our resources as a country,” he said. ┬á
Meanwhile government of Botswana through the office of the President has promised to respect the rule of law said spokesperson Jeff Ramsay.