Masisi, Khama feud escalates to court

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

A war of words between Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama has erupted afresh before a court, with the former’s lawyers asking the court to remove the latter from a case in which he is cited as Third Respondent.

APA learned Wednesday that this emerged in a case in which an ordinary member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party BDP), one Kamal Jacobs, is challenging the legitimacy of President Masisi as the party’s President.

Masisi’s lawyer, Basimane Bogopa, pleaded with Justice Michael Mothobi to remove Khama from the case saying he has not been served with papers, despite the fact that he is cited as the Third Respondent.

However, Jacobs’ lawyer Kagisano Tamocha insisted that they want Khama to testify, asserting that he only stepped down in April 2018 as State President and not as the President of BDP.

Khama has been enraged by Masisi's refusal to let him use government planes and the reversal of his policies by his handpicked successor.

Meanwhile, Khama had publicly told the local media that he never resigned from the BDP presidency, and is expected to dispose an affidavit affirming this position.

Masisi’s lawyer argued that Botswana’s constitution states that a sitting President cannot be sued in his official or private capacity.

The Chief State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Otlaadisa Kwape, has explained that “Presidential immunity is given under two circumstances, criminal and civil suit. For criminal proceedings, the president is given immunity in his private and official capacity. In civil matters, immunity is only extended in actions he or she undertook on private capacity.”



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