- The two want their DCEC, Attorney General posts back or payouts
- Attorney General ropes in Sydney Pilane
- Top lawyers Bayford, Chilisa to face Pilane
- PSP Magosi wants cases thrown out
The former Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) Brigadier Joseph Mathambo and former Deputy Secretary, Justice at the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security Nchunga Nchunga have taken the state to court to demand that their ouster from their former positions be reviewed and set aside.
The two were ousted last year after falling out with the government’s top leadership but they have since decided to take the bull by the horns and gone to court with the aid of two of Botswana’s most reputable lawyers. Mathambo is represented by Dick Bayford while Nchunga has instructed leading labour law expert Mboki Chilisa. On the other hand, the Attorney General Advocate Abraham Keetshabe had instructed Advocate Sydney Pilane for the state.
Both Mathambo and Nchunga filed their papers on 29 January 2021 before the High Court. They are protesting their ouster from employment and powerful positions and want the court to overturn it or instruct the state to pay them for the remaining part of their contracts which were both in excess of four years at the time of termination.
Mathambo has always held that his appointment at DCEC was substantive and that he was pushed out before expiration of his term which was not to end until 2024. He states further that his redeployment to the army was unfair because of a lot of circumstances surrounding the transfer. It is well known that before his ouster, Mathambo’s relationship with the head of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS), Brigadier Peter Magosi, had broken down irretrievably after Mathambo’s decision to investigate Magosi.
For Nchunga , the state is grappling with its alleged failure to afford him a hearing as stipulated in the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) Act and in accordance with natural justice. Like Mathambo, Nchunga‘s contract was still extant and had four more years at the time of his dismissal. He wants the state to pay a considerable monetary balance for his contract.
His 37-year long career in the civil service was cut short for undisclosed reasons, giving rise to much speculation, the most serious being that he sang the praises of opposition party leaders in his music in which he also has a song extolling the virtues of President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Prior to his dismissal, Nchunga had just approved a COVID-19 permit for Masisi’s nemesis former president Ian Khama that was soon revoked by the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Elias Magosi.
Meanwhile, the PSP – who is the appointing authority for the government’s top posts – has deposed affidavits opposing Nchunga’s application. The state is yet to respond to Mathambo.