Court of Appeal have reserved judgement in a case in which government is appealing a decision by High Court that Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) should register their organization.
“Judgement will be delivered on the day to be announced. But it is unlikely that it will be handed down on this court session,” CoA president Kirby declared to a fully packed court gallery comprising of LEGABIBO activists, sympathisers and those following the marathon case with keen interest.
The case was presided by a panel of 5 Court of Appeal Judges comprising of President Justice Ian Kirby together with Justices Craig Howie, Monametsi Gaongalelwe, Lord Hamilton and Issac Lesetedi.
Previously, High Court Judge Justice Terrence Rannowane has ruled that the decision of the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu to refuse to the registration of LEGABIBO was in contravention of section 3 of the constitution of Botswana as it denies them equal protection of the law.
Subsequent to LEGABIBO victory, government appealed the case and the CoA raised more questions while seeking for clarity on constitutionality of gay people forming an association “to advocate for establishment of a legal framework to reach those in society that are legally and socially marginalized such as lesbians, gays and bisexuals.” Section 3 was heavily relied upon in the matter.
The said section 3 (of the constitution) provides that: “whereas every person in Botswana is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his or her race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the right and freedoms of other and to public interest to each and all of the following namely; a)life, liberty, security and protection of the law, b)freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association.
“Does gays and lesbians have constitutional right and protection? Or they can just be discriminated against? Are they not protected by section 3?” Court of Appeal president Ian Kirby continuously asked the AG.
Appellants Attorney General was represented by State Counsel Otsile Rammidi while Attorney Dick Bayford, Shimi Phage and Lesego Nchunga were representing LEGABIBO.
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.