- Botswana's Attorney General today denied allegations of a crisis in the country's justice system, as reported this week in the 'Botswana Gazette'. The newspaper claimed a large number of staff had announced their resignation, leaving Botswana's tribunals to be run "by foreigners from Banana Republics where the rule of law does not exist."
The 'Botswana Gazette' of 17 November carried a large front-page story headlined "Crisis of Justice" in which it was suggested that the Attorney General's Chambers is "likely to lose a number of senior staff members." Also middle and junior staff were said to have tendered their resignations and "will be leaving at the end of the year."
As a consequence of this big loss of qualified Batswana personnel, the 'Botswana Gazette' found, the Attorney General would have to hire foreigners "from Banana Republics where the rule of law does not exist." A "crisis of justice" would be the ultimate consequence.
This report provoked strong reactions in the offices of the Attorney General, who issued a press release this morning, strongly denying the allegations put forward in the 'Botswana Gazette'.
- In fact the number of officers leaving Chambers is the lowest for many years, the statement reads. While the Attorney General could verify several of the senior staff member resignations anticipated by the article, turnover at his offices would nevertheless not be at a critical level this year.
The Attorney General described the leaving senior staff members as "highly valued and experienced officers whom we would not wish to lose." The statement also denies allegations in the 'Botswana Gazette' that some of these officers were "being pushed out" or even "forced" to leave. "Certainly they are not being pushed, and we would happily retain their services," today's statement maintains.
- There are no "victims" of a "major shake-up" in the Attorney General's Chambers, the statement emphasised. There had been a restructuring exercise, which was commenced by former Attorney General Phandu Skelemani. But this restructuring had led to the strengthening of the office, with 44 new posts have been allocated by government, the Attorney General holds.
The Attorney General also reacted strongly to the "Banana Republic" remarks by the 'Botswana Gazette'. "The Chambers employs a small number of officers from elsewhere in Africa who have offered their skills," the statement explains.
- They are highly trained professionals who add considerable value, the Attorney General goes on. "The derogatory reference to foreigners in the sub-headline of the 'Gazette' story is offensive and uncalled for," he adds.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.