Thursday, February 26, 2009

Parliamentary Questions

source: Republic of Botswana (23/2/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 4 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"

C5) 17/2/09: PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION 327 asked Mr. P.M. Masimolole, MP. (Mogoditshane):

To ask the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to brief this Honourable House on the imposition of corporal punishment by courts in Botswana particularly:-

i) Who is liable thereof;

ii) What is the maximum number of strokes that can be imposed on an individual; and

iii) Whether the variations to the imposition of corporal punishment which were indicated by the Criminal Procedure (Corporal Punishment) Regulations (S.I. No. 95 of 1969) are in fact unlawful because the mode of inflicting corporal punishment pursuant thereto is not the mode that is saved or protected under section 7 (2) of the Constitution of Botswana.


Mr. Speaker,

i) According to Section 18(2) of the Customary Courts Act Cap 04:05 convicted males under the age of 40 years are liable to corporal punishment.

ii) Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 72 of 1994, second schedule under Criminal Jurisdiction Cap 04:05 stipulates the maximum number of strokes depending on the levels of Customary Courts, with the highest court allowed a maximum of six (6) strokes while a lower court is allowed a maximum of three (3) strokes.

iii) Corporal Punishment in Customary Courts is regulated by the Customary Courts (Corporal Punishment) Rules S.I. 122 of 1974 Cap 04:05. The said Rules stipulate the use of a cane or thupa in administering corporal punishment. S.I. 95 of 1969 of the Criminal Procedure (Corporal Punishment) Regulations (Cap 08:02), makes provision for the measurement and the size of the thupa or cane to be used to administer corporal punishment, which measurements shall be as follows:

- In the case of males over the age of 18 years. The cane shall be 1.218 metres long and 12.7 millimetres in diameter;

- In the case of males under the age of 18 years, the cane shall be 0.914 metres long and 9.525 millimetres in diameter.

These Rules are lawful and as such do not offend Section 7(2) of the Constitution of Botswana, because the mode of punishment is not outside the provisions of Section 7(2) of the Constitution. The rules stipulate the size of the cane that shall be used to administer corporal punishment. I thank you, Mr. Speaker

C6) 20/2/09: PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION No. 277 asked by Mr. O Moupo, MP (Gaborone West North)

To ask the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration when the Administration of Parliament is going to be fully disengaged from the Office of the President to strengthen the independence of Parliament in accordance with the principle of separation of powers.


Mr Speaker, Parliament is not administered from the Office of the President. Like all Ministries and Independent Departments of Government, it is allocated human, material and financial resources through the Government Budgeting System. These resources, Mr Speaker, are under the direct control and administration of the Clerk of the National Assembly who is the Accounting Officer for Parliament.

The Clerk, like all other Accounting Officers, is accountable for the use of these resources, and the Minister, in turn, is also politically accountable. In this connection Mr Speaker, accountability and the communication which goes with it, does not undermine the principle of separation of powers.

Furthermore Mr Speaker, Parliament has a small establishment. If the organisation was to be completely separated from the rest of the Civil Service, the staff of Parliament would lose advantages which go with being part of a large organisation such as opportunities for progression. I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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