Following his nomination for Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Botswana Congress Party President Dumelang Saleshando has launched court proceedings against Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe , the National Assembly and the Attorney General for accepting his name for nomination and proceeding with the elections without his consent.
According to a Statutory Notice of Intention to Sue by his lawyer Martin Dingake of Dingake Law Partners, Saleshando never intended to be nominated for consideration or election as Specially Elected Member of Parliament, and has neither authorized anyone to nominate his name nor consented to such nomination. The notice thus orders the speaker to disclose the name of the person who nominated Saleshando and an order setting aside and declaring as unlawful the speaker’s decision to accept nomination of Saleshando without his consent contrary to Parliament Standing Orders and other relevant legislation. Furthermore, Saleshando requests for an order declaring the National Assembly’s decision to endorse the Speaker’s decision to nominate him for Specially Elected MP without his consent as null and void as well as an order reviewing the decision of the National Assembly to endorse the Speaker’s decision.
According to Dingake, “The Speaker is obliged, for purposes of transparency, openness and accountability and as required by the Schedule to the Constitution and the nomination form, to disclose the persons who made the nomination so that only the President and Elected Members of the National Assembly and no other persons are the only ones entitled to nominate and do in fact nominate.”
The defendants have been given 30 days from the date they were served, (26 November 2015) to respond, failing which court proceedings will be launched against them.
Saleshando and Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane’s names were nominated from the floor to add onto the two names of Eric Molale and Shampoo Shadikong Matshidiso who it was announced by the Speaker- were nominated by President Ian Khama and Wynter Mmolotsi respectively. At the time of election on 12th November 2015, opposition party members had before the elections, tried in vain for the Speaker to reveal the name or names of MPs who brought Saleshando’s name for nomination, and also for the Speaker to state whether Saleshando had consented to the nomination. The MPs were of the view that just like with the other two nominees who names of their nominators were revealed, it was only fair and legally binding for the Speaker to also state names of those who nominated Saleshando and Ntuane. This resulted in all except two opposition MPs not casting their votes calling the elections ‘ fraudulent.’
The seat of Specially Elected MP fell vacant after the then Specially elected MP Eric Molale, who is also Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration had resigned his position as MP to contest in the Goodhope/ Mabule constituency under the BDP- following the resignation of UDC MP James Mathokgwane. Molale then lost the elections to another UDC candidate, Kgosi Lotlamoreng II.