The ousted former Botswana Democratic Party parliamentary hopeful for Tlokweng constituency Elijah Katse may have lost the first round of his quest to get reinstated into the parliamentary race but it would seem the race is far from being over.
Katse and three others who were suspended from the party and barred from representing it in the upcoming election’s urgent application filed before Justice Terrence Rannowane in which President Ian Khama was cited as a first respondent was thrown out of court due to the fact that the latter is immune to prosecution.
His attorney, Kabelo Nkwe said they will not abandon the matter but will rather revert back to their initial case in which the Botswana Democratic Party Central Committee were cited as first and second respondents respectively.
Furthermore Nkwe said they resolved to move the matter as an urgent in view that the IEC candidates nomination will be on the 25th of September and elections are slated for the 24th of October.
The initial case according to Nkwe, was scheduled to be heard before Justice Rannowane on the 7th of October. “We are very much aware that the IEC nomination date is not on our side that is why the matter will have to be treated with urgency” he said.
Katse said: “Yes, I have not totally given up on the case, it is not true that I have conceded defeat and will not be pursuing the matter further,” said Katse.
When giving the ruling on Wednesday, Justice Rannowane noted his surprise at Katse and his co applicants ‘ decision to proceed through the normal cause and not by urgency when filing the application the first time saying it should have been brought by way of urgency right from the beginning. “The urgency surrounding this matter was in existence even at the time of the filing of this application and did not suddenly arise because of the announcement of the election date as counsel seems to think …” Rannowane said.
With regard to set aside as an irregular step application submitted by BDP lawyers last month, Rannowane in his ruling, cited the late Gomolemo Motswaledi’s case against the BDP saying it set precedent that the law as it stands, is that no sitting president of the of Botswana may be sued or prosecuted for anything done by him in his official or private capacity.
“In my view even if the applicants were given a whole year notice to address or deal with such an irregular step, they would not have succeeded in anyway whatsoever to get around that obstacle other than to withdraw the proceedings against the first respondent (Khama). Such withdrawal need not necessarily be by way of notice; a verbal application from the bar would suffice. The argument that the applicants were not given notice is therefore without merits and I reject it as such,” Rannowane said.
Katse has been recalled from representing the BDP in the Tlokweng constituency in the upcoming general elections and was replaced by his longtime rival Olebile Gaborone after he was accused of cheating his way up to win the party primary elections.
Gaborone was expected to be launched as the BDP parliamentary candidate for Tlokweng constituency over the weekend.