wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05GABORONE286
2005-02-25 12:17:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Gaborone
Cable title:  

U/BOTSWANA HOLDS SEMINAR: ACADEMIC GRANTED

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  BC 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

251217Z Feb 05

ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   USNW-00  
      DODE-00  DS-00    EB-00    UTED-00  VC-00    H-00     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   NSAE-00  OIC-00   NIMA-00  
      PA-00    GIWI-00  PRS-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  
      FMP-00   R-00     DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00   
        /000W
                  ------------------BEDD4C  251312Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1774
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
NSC WASHDC
						UNCLAS  GABORONE 000286 

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

DEPT FOR AF/S DIFFILY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM BC
SUBJECT: U/BOTSWANA HOLDS SEMINAR: ACADEMIC GRANTED
TEMPORARY REPRIEVE


A) GABORONE 257; B) GABORONE 266



1. Summary: The University of Botswana seminar that
featured the scholarly paper, "Presidential Succession in
Botswana: No Model for Africa" by political science
professor Kenneth Good proceeded without incident February


23. Good received a "rock star" welcome by the 600-person
audience. On February 24, Botswana's High Court held
hearings on the validity of the stay of execution until
March 7 of the deportation order served to Good February 18.
A ruling is expected February 28. The deportation case and
the seminar paper have caused widespread public discussion
on Botswana's political system and have attracted
international attention. End summary.



2. Some 600 students, lecturers, media, political party
leaders, lawyers, NGO representatives, and diplomats showed
up to hear Professor Good deliver his paper. This forced
transfer of the seminar to a larger room, which still left
far more individuals standing than seated. Despite
speculation that the seminar might not take place, it
proceeded without incident, starting and ending on time. The
audience greeted Good's appearance in the auditorium with a
storm of applause. Saying he was tired, Good spoke softly
but deliberately. Absence of a public address system made
hearing him difficult. Good spent so much time on his first
of three points that he had to curtail presentation of the
last two. The large, overwhelmingly supportive, crowd was
orderly though Good had to quiet it at times. Of the many
questions posed to Good, only one had even a negative tinge,
as a BDP official faulted Good for relying too much on media
reports for his analysis. The only security presence noted
was in the form of two amiable U/Botswana security guards.



3. Outside the venue, people discussed and commented on the
significance of the issue (see reftels). They volunteered to
emboffs that Ken Good's deportation order proved his thesis
of the increasing authoritarianism of the GOB and that the
BDP had been in power too long: the arrogance of power.
Several compared the case in significance to the Unity Dow
case of the 1980s, which had resulted in constitutional
guarantees being applied to all within Botswana's borders.
One professor called it a "horror." A number noted the
oddity of having the deportation order served while
President Mogae was out of the country for a week (actually,
the order was served prior to his departure). All were
sympathetic to Good and considered the GOB to have made a
major mistake which would resonate to Botswana's detriment.



4. On Thursday, February 25, the High Court, located in
Lobatse, held a further hearing on the preliminary points of
the case. The counsel for the State argued that the High
Court had no authority to question a presidential order.
Their argument insisted that the court had been in error in
granting an interdiction until March 7, as the judge had
done last week (see ref B). They referred to Good as a
"visitor," subject to immigration authorities and not
entitled to protection by the provisions of the Botswana
Constitution regarding free expression. They questioned the
court's authority to even hear Good's application for
relief.



5. Good's lawyers countered with the technical
shortcomings of the deportation order as a presidential
decree: the only signature provided on the order itself was
from the chief immigration officer. Judge Stanley Sapire
(recently arrived from Swaziland) cautiously but firmly
picked his way through the state's arguments. He concluded
by deferring a ruling on whether the High Court could hear
the case on its merits, until Monday, February 28. Post
will report septel on outcome.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





6. The Ken Good case has definitely energized public
discussion in Botswana on the limits of presidential power.
It is headline news and the subject of call-in talk shows.
Even at the grassroots, the story is subject for commentary.
In Salajwe, a village some thirty miles of deep sand away
from a main road, emboff yesterday heard two women
expressing their sympathy for Ken Good. They said stating
that this was just what you could expect from the Botswana
Democratic Party, which had been in power too long and paid
no attention to ordinary people's lives.



7. Not everyone supports Ken Good. Discussion at a meeting


of the Botswana business association BOCCIM revealed mixed
feelings among the members. Several said Good "deserves it
because he's insulting." Others thought it wouldn't harm
because other countries like China are worse and still
attract FDI, while still others said it was an unnecessary
Qassault on freedom of speech. BOCCIM will make no public
comment on the matter.



8. The Ken Good deportation case has also attracted
international media attention. The BBC and All-Africa.com
are among outlets picking up the story. Post continues to
follow the case closely and will attend the February 28
hearing.
AROIAN


NNNN