Government through Ministry of Defense Justice and Security (MDJS) is working around the clock to engage an international law firm to challenge a court interdict which has freezed the repatriation of Namibians refugees. The idea to force the Namibian refugees to go back home comes after their refugee status lapsed when the cessation clause was invoked in 2015.
The refugees were given up to the 11th of July to have registered for repatriation to their country of origin. Minister Shaw Kgathi has since declared them illegal immigrants. “You are not refugees, nor are you guests of the government of Botswana,” he quipped. Fresh information from reliable sources say the government is at pains with the order and will not rest until the Namibians return to their home land.
According to the ministry the environment in Namibia is now conducive and they must return home to participate in the socio-economic, cultural and political arena of their home country. Government is represented by Attorney General with Dimpho Ramarumo while Martin Dingake of Dingake Law Partners is defending the refugees. Those pro repatriation are concerned that the local lawyers are caught wanting in dealing with International Refugees laws.
“There was no how we could be here at this moment. The Namibians should have long returned but our attorneys from government are not capacitated enough in dealing with matters bordering with refugee law,” pointed a source. With this, the government has acceded to the idea of acquiring the services of an experienced law firm to deal with the matter once and for all. “It is a small issue, we just need a firm that has dealt with this before,” says a source. It is said spanners are already at work with the renowned local law firm, Collins and Newman having been tasking with looking for the firm on behalf of government.
The ideal law firm should be from South Africa as it is argued the country has dealt with the same matter before. Court papers indicate that the fate of the refugees remains in the hands of High Court matter which is presided over by Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa. The case involves the government through the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security; Chairperson of the Refugees Advisory Committee; Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, and Officer in charge at Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants as well as Dukwi Refugee Camp Settlement Commandant Fortunate Majingo.
The refugees on annual basis cost UNHCR P10 million as they are given food rations, school uniform for kids and transport to school. The Namibians fled here in October 1998 with 100 being the armed Caprivi Liberation Army and 2500 civilians. Their leadership of Mishake Muyongo and Chief Boniface Mamili was long resettled to Denmark in the early 2000s.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) serves as the ‘guardian’ of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. According to the legislation, States are expected to cooperate with the organ in ensuring that the rights of refugees are respected and protected. In the marathon case that may continue to put Botswana on the spotlight in how he relates to her refugees.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.