Botswana: Election Appeals January 29

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Gaborone — Justice Singh Walia of the Court of Appeal yesterday set January 29 as the date for hearing the consolidated election petition appeals.

Delivering the ruling, Judge Walia noted that the appeals followed the dismissal of election results petitions by Gaborone and Francistown high courts in December as they were viewed to be lacking some essential elements.

Justice Walia said the parties had reached a consensus that the appeals be consolidated for the purpose of expediting hearing of the appeals.

The Court of Appeal has also directed that applicants file their heads of arguments not later than January 17 while respondents will file theirs not later than January 24.

Justice Walia expressed gratitude to both appellants and respondents for according the applications the urgency and importance they deserved and facilitating their smooth progression.

Prior to making the ruling, Justice Walia had stated that the appeals were similar in nature as they arose from comparable circumstances.

"I do not see any reason why they cannot be consolidated," said Judge Walia.

He also noted that the cases were of national importance and therefore must be accorded the importance they deserved.

Judge Walia disclosed that the Court of Appeal was overwhelmed with petitions.

He said the court had 53 cases before it and therefore the only day available for the election petitions appeals was January 29.

Judge Walia said since the petitions were assigned to a panel of three judges for each of the three tranches, the Court of Appeal would accord the appeals a similar arrangement.

The appellants are Advocate Duma Boko, Mr Masego Segokgo, Mr Victor Phologolo, Mr Nelson Ramaotwana, Dr Mpho Pheko, Mr Aubrey Ramatsebanyana, Mr Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, Mr Moagi Molebatsi, Mr Olebogeng Watshipi, Dr Patrick Molutsi, Mr Ontathile Selatlho, Mr Mahomed Khan, Mr Haskins Nkaigwa, Dr Micus Chimbombi and Mr Sam Digwa.

Source : BOPA

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