Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader Dumelang Saleshando is exploring options of dragging President Ian Khama to court over the green book that empowered Khama to grant retired Vice President Mompati Merafe some benefits. Saleshando argues that the constitution of Botswana makes no reference to anything called the green book.
Addressing the media yesterday the president of the BCP said his party wrote to Attorney General early this year seeking her to explain the rationale behind the green book and the legal basis of the green book. He said to this point the Attorney General has not furnished his party with any explanations to elucidate the basis of the green book which has been used to grant the retired vice president certain benefits.
“We have now decided to take the matter through the courts; on the 9th of June we furnished the Attorney General with the necessary notice to say to her that we will be taking this matter before the courts. In our view the president can only act in accordance with the constitution if not certainly there must be some statute that can justify his actions and in this case the constitution makes no reference to anything called the green book,” Saleshando said.
He said that he looked at all other statutes but none of these statutes empowers the president to take decision that he took with regards to granting privileges to a retired Vice President, Merafhe “At the lapse of 30 days required by the law after the notice that we served the attorney general we will be preceding to court with this case,” he said.
The BCP also want president Khama to suspend the director of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Isaac Kgosi pertaining to controversy surrounding DIS. “We want the President to suspend the director general and allow for full investigations into the issues surrounding the DIS. Should the president not act we plan to take the matter before parliament. We will be specifically asking parliament to resolve a commission of enquiry into DIS operations and its Director General, Isaac Kgosi. We will be watching President Khama,” he said.
On another issue Saleshando confirmed the withdrawal of their Parliamentary candidate in Shashe West. “We had 55 confirmed parliamentary candidates which have now reduced to 54 because of the case of Shashe West.┬á Our confirmed candidate in that area has withdrawn his candidacy. The reasons are that he has an opportunity to further his studies whilst keeping his full time job. It was only reasonable because would be not able to mount an effective campaign in the area,” he said.
This publication questioned the criterion that the BCP will use to choose another candidate to represent the party in the area. This is what the leader of the BCP said, “We are in the process of reopening the process of selecting a new candidate to represent the BCP in Shashe West and we are confident that we will field a candidate and maintain our target of 55. ┬áWe allow the constituents to have consensus candidate but if there be no consensus candidate we will allow for primaries,” he said.
┬áHowever the leader of the BCP revealed that his party will not be contesting in two constituencies; Molepolole South and North.
“There are the only two constituencies where we are likely not to contest because to this point we do not have confirmed candidates. However in those two constituencies we are going to field council candidates in some of the wards and as we have stated previously where we will not be contesting we will give support to other opposition parties. We will not give support to independent candidates because parties need numbers and I do not think there is any party that will reject that offer,” he said.