“To make this a reality, our Courts must operate from modern buildings that are fit for purpose, and more relevant to the times. I am sure that a properly resourced court is more likely to deliver better, quicker service and that delays will be reduced,” said His Excellency the President LT. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Declaring the New High Court and Court of Appeal buildings officially open in Gaborone recently, His Excellency said the completion of this new facility marks a very important milestone in our desire to provide the necessary infrastructure for delivering justice to Batswana. And it will provide much needed relief to the Lobatse facilities which have served us well over the years but are no longer adequate to provide an increased number of Judges with Chambers and Court Rooms.
“The decision to build these Courts was motivated by the shortage of court facilities to accommodate the ever expanding court work, and the need to build a permanent home for the Court of Appeal,” the President said.
On the other hand when the decision was taken to develop the new building, a few years ago, the time had become ripe for that initiative. It was the Judiciary’s great fortune that the Government committed itself to the project, and the contracts were signed off shortly before Botswana was struck along with other countries in the world, by the economic recession. Due to the recession, difficult decisions had to be made, which included cutting down on expenditure.
“I am happy that this court survived when many projects in NDP10 had to be postponed indefinitely. I am pleased to say that through the hands on approach of the Chief Justice in appointing committees to monitor implementation of the contract, and with the support of Government agencies, the architects and the project manager, both objectives have largely been achieved, with only minor overruns.”
He said the total construction cost of these facilities which included furnishing, stocking of the library and new IT equipment for the technology court stands at P386 million.
The Courts buildings have nine Court rooms for the High Court and three court rooms for the Court of Appeal, with room for expansion by two additional courts with the necessary Judges’ Chambers. There is also a Technology Court which is the first of its type in this country, fitted with video conferencing facilities which will make it possible for the court to hear the testimony of some witnesses such as those who are abroad, without the need for them to be physically before the court, overhead projectors, and other necessary technology to enable such a court to operate.
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