"Corruption" judge appointed to reduce delays

Raising constitutional issues leads to delays in corruption cases; appointment of High Court judge to deal with these matters is hoped to reduce delays.

The Botswana Gazette reported that the Master and Registrar of the High Court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, announced when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committeelast week, that a High Court judge has been appointed to deal with corruption cases that emanate from magistrates’ courts.

Nthomiwa said frequently these cases are delayed because accused persons appeal to the High Court, raising constitutional issues. This in turn leads to the case being postponed.

President Ian Khama has appointed Regional Magistrate – South, Barnabas Nyamadzabo and Lobatse High Court Senior Assistant Registrar, Tebogo Tau, as High Court judges, which brings the total number of High Court judges to 24.

According to Nthomiwa these courts will be at the level of magistrates’ courts; they were piloted in Gaborone and Francistown and will now be rolled out countrywide.

Nthomiwa also told the committee that his department is looking at rolling out mobile courts as way of taking justice to the people. He said traffic courts will operate along major roads like "booze buses" – buses which detain drunken drivers. Temporary magistrates have been hired to reduce the backlog. Government is rolling out traffic and child maintenance courts around the country. According to Nthomiwa these courts will be at the level of magistrates’ courts; they were piloted in Gaborone and Francistown and will now be rolled out countrywide.

© 2016 Dullah Omar Institute
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