Chief Justice Blasts Colleagues About His Powers To Transfer Judges

  • Says Justice Maripe should have insisted on his directive being implemented
  • Wants a stay of execution of Justice Maripe’s judgment until his appeal is concluded


The Chief Justice of Botswana, Terrence Rannowane, has excoriated his colleagues, Justice Gabriel Komboni and Professor Bugalo Maripe, for the way they handled the case involving his decision to transfer Justice Komboni to Francistown High Court to make space for Justice Nyamadzabo who has been appointed the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Says the Chief Justice in his affidavit to support his appeal against the judgment of the Maun High Court in the matter of his transfer of Justice Komboni to Francistown that went against him: “In all circumstances it was inappropriate for Judge Komboni to sue at the Maun High Court as opposed to the court that is closest to all parties (i.e. the Gaborone High Court).


“This consideration should have been made by Judge Maripe when the matter was brought before him, and upon receiving the letter empanelling the judges and transferring the matter, he ought to have declined to hear the matter and insisted that my directive be implemented by the Registrar of the Maun High Court.

“In terms of Section 13 (2) of the Regulations of (the) Judicial Service Act, it is an act of misbehaviour for a judge to refuse or fail to comply with lawful instructions issued by the Chief Justice as the Head of the judiciary in Botswana.”

The Chief Justice is seeking a stay of execution of Justice Maripe’s judgment pending his appeal to reverse it.

Another court

“By exercising jurisdiction unlawfully in the matter, Judge Maripe has caused an unnecessary overlap of jurisdiction between judges of the High Court by hearing a matter which he should be rightfully heard by another court,” he avers in his affidavit.

Justice Maripe of Maun High Court slammed the Chief Justice Rannowane last year and interdicted him from transferring a case involving himself and a High Court judge from Maun to be heard by judges of his choice in Gaborone.

Justice Maripe said the decision by the Chief Justice to appoint a panel of judges to preside over the matter “undermines judicial independence and is inconsistent with Section 10 (9) of the Constitution (of Botswana).”