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Govt courts Salbany

SHARE   |   Thursday, 23 August 2018   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Salbany Salbany

Want him to join public prosecutions

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'I have not been approached.Will definitely consider the offer' - Salbany

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have developed keen interest in the legal prowess of attorney Joao Carlos Salbany after recently issuing the PI'ed human rights lawyer a new work and residence permit.

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Although Directorate of Public Prosecutions is independent from the Executive, President Masisi is said to have instructed that Salbany be recruited to join the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Salbany who was last week granted a work permit was declared a Prohibited Immigrant (PI) by Masisi a month after he ascended the presidency in April, sending shockwaves throughout the country. In may Masisi made and about turn and announced during a media briefing that he had reversed the decision and apologised to Salbany. Masisi told the media back in May that there were some irregularities in the decision to declare Salbany a prohibited immigrant, hence the decision to reverse it.

In an interview with this publication Salbany expressed ignorance on the allegations that he is a wanted man at DPP. “Join prosecutions? No my brother. I am back at Bayford and Associates. I got my work permit on Friday under Bayford and I haven’t applied anywhere else nor have I been offered any position at DPP,” he responded.

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Asked if he will accept the position should they head hunt him, he said; “of course. I would certainly consider it!” Highly placed sources at Government Enclave have revealed that Masisi want the Mozambican born attorney granted citizenship since he has stayed a better part of his life in the country.

Salbany has lived and has a family based in Botswana since 1993. In 2016 Department of Immigration and Citizenship rejected Salbany’s application for renewal of work and residence permits saying he has failed security clearance by Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) vetting process. This was viewed by many as a way of government punishing him for representing the Botswana Gazette journalists in a case against Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) which landed him and the journalists in police cells.Salbany was arrested and detained at Mogoditshane Police station allegedly on a charge of obstructing DCEC agents in their investigations. After refusal to renew his work and residence permit Salbany settled in Pretoria, South Africa fom where he frequently visited Botswana to check on his family.  

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In 2013 he was part of the legal team that represented Garvas Nchindo when appealing the High Court decision that declared that the disputed Sethoa Estate in Gaborone Block 10 be forfeited to state. Salbany and company managed to  successfully convince the Court of Appeal to reverse the decision.

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In 2005 Salbany applied for citizenship but was rejected. At the time he was doing Professor Kenneth Good’s PI case and many suspect that was the reason his application was rejected. Good, a former Political Science lecturer at the University of Botswana was deported in 2005 after publishing a damning article on Botswana's system of automatic succession to the presidency.  After his deportation in 2005, Good sought reprieve at the African Union’s Human Rights Commission in Banjul, the Gambia. He won the case in May 2010 when the commission found Botswana guilty of violating the African Charter. Botswana was then ordered to compensate Good for remuneration and benefits lost as a result of his deportation, and pay the legal costs he incurred during litigation in domestic courts and before the African Commission.



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