I am innocent – Boko
Leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and president of the Botswana National Front (BNF), Duma Boko, who is in court for allegedly committing offences of fraud and perjury when he campaigned for the BNF presidency in 2010 has distanced himself from the allegations saying his rivals are power hungry and bitter.
The applicants in the case are Tona Mooketsi, Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, Geoffrey Serebolo, Lewatle Kgosiyareng, Jacob Dikuelo, Mokgweetsi Kgosipula, Gaopalelwe Mooki, Rakhanyisa Motswasele, David Motlhatlhedi, Pule Letebele, Kitso Toiser and Moses Kajane.
They want an order declaring among other things, that Boko knowingly and willingly tendered perjured evidence under the 2010 case which influenced the court to grant judgment in his favour; that Boko knowingly and intentionally withheld material information from the court under the 2010 case with fraudulent intent. The applicants further want an order declaring that Boko is not qualified to be the president of the BNF as it was a product of fraud and therefore, nulled.
In his answering affidavit, Boko states that in the consideration of any application for membership, whether it be a fresh or a renewal, the application is dealt with by the central committee members which convenes and takes a decision on the application and process it. The applicant is not part of the decision making in regard to his/her membership.
“All the discussions regarding any of my membership cards were with the central committee of the BNF and I never engaged in the said discussions. The applicants were basing their claims on unfounded speculation which has no basis in fact and logic. None of them was in the central committee at the time, therefore none of them is privy to the reasons for the central committee’s decision,” he states, adding that the applicants seem to confuse their alleged membership of the BNF with being its leadership.
Boko further stated that there was never any fabricated evidence in his 2010 case, “and if anybody is trying to fabricate anything, is the applicants. No decision of the court was influenced by any manufactured evidences as there was none.”
He further said that if anyone was not happy with his membership, they should first complain within the BNF structures, rather than rushing to the courts. An approach to court, he said, was an attempt to review a decision of structures and certain office bearers who have not been notified of any grievance in respect of their mandate and duties as well as decisions.
The affidavit further states that the applicants were currently not in a position to challenge him as they remain suspended from the BNF.