The Voice (Botswana)


Khama suffers High Court blow


GABORONE High Court dealt Ian Khama a serious body blow on Tuesday, declaring the former president a fugitive from justice who has lost all rights to seek help from Botswana courts.

Crushing SKI’S attempts to have the criminal charges against him dropped, Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo warned Botswana’s 5th President he had repeatedly failed to avail himself before the courts - despite a warrant for his arrest being issued against him over two years ago - and therefore is not entitled to benefit from the same court processes.

“I find that the former president is a fugitive from justice who does not have loca standi in this and other courts of Botswana during his status as a fugitive from justice,” ruled

Nyamadzabo as he dismissed Khama’s applicatio­n to review and set aside a case in which he is charged with possession of firearms and ammunition.

The judge also imposed punitive costs against the former president on grounds that he wasted the court’s time and resources on a case that has no merit at all.

He further pointed out that Khama ‘unceremoni­ously’ left the country on 8th November, 2021 when search warrants had already been issued with respect to several of his properties.

“He knew or ought to have known that criminal charges against him were imminent,” reasoned Nyamadzabo, adding the 70-year-old soldier-turnedpoli­tician has admitted possession of the said firearms and ammunition.

“He must account for them before the magistrate, and prove that he acquired their licences within the law. It is before the trial court, where witnesses on both sides will be called and cross examined, that evidence will be led as to whether the said licences were properly issued. And the strength of the police evidence will hence be tested before that court,” continued the High Court Judge, who dismissed Khama’s defence that the charges against him were politicall­y and maliciousl­y motivated.

“He has not provided any evidence to support such,” noted Nyamadzabo, arguing if indeed Khama experience­d political harassment, he would have fled BW in 2019 and not two years later on the very day he was facing arrest for failing to hand over the guns under investigat­ion.

Following the damning ruling, The Voice contacted Khama’s spokespers­on, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodi­mo, who explained they were still studying the judgment and would comment at a later stage.

Khama and Isaac Kgosi, as well as suspended Commission­er of Police, Keabetswe Makgophe, Victor Paledi, and Sehunelo Khunou, have a pending trial before the Broadhurst Magistrate­s’ Court in connection with the possession and licensing of multiple firearms to the two.

Kgosi’s applicatio­n was disqualifi­ed after it failed to meet the legal requiremen­ts, while other accused persons did not take part at all.

The criminal charges were prompted by the former spy boss’ utterances that he would topple the government of Botswana during his arrest at Sir Seretse Khama Internatio­nal Airport on 15th January, 2019.

During investigat­ions, several firearms and ammunition were found at his properties, and some documents reportedly led investigat­ors to the former president.

Ian Khama

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