Botswana government is facing a lawsuit by two Dukwi based refugees who are claiming P1 million worth of damages. The Ugandan refugees Musa Isarbirye and Timothy Yamin claim to have been afflicted to general damages in the amount of P500 000 each.
The refugees, through their lawyer Martin Dingake of Dingake Law Partners, stated in their court papers filed this week before Justice Nthomiwa that as a result of the arrest, they suffered costs “for unlawful arrest, detention, and deprivation of liberty for the time they spent detained from the 11th March 2014 until the 25th June 2014.”
The refugees therefore want the court to order that the government – represented by Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme pay damages to the amount of P500 000 each for their unlawful arrest, detention and deprivation of liberty for the time they spent in jail. In addition they want government to foot the cost of the suit and further and/or alternative relief.
The court matter arises following the duo’s recent triumph for unlawful detention. Justice Phadi Solomon who presided over the matter at Francistown High Court ruled that “the applicants (Yamin and Isabirye) are hereby released to Dukwi Refugee Settlement Camp forthwith.”
The refugees had taken the government to court to declare that their detention was unlawful and unconstitutional and the courts ruled in their favour. The government was also ordered to pay costs of the application to be agreed or taxed.
According to the court papers before Justice Nthomiwa, which the WeekendPost, are in possession of, on the 11th March 2014 the Plaintiffs were arrested without a warrant and were locked up at the Central Police Station where they were later transferred to Molepolole Prison on the 28th March 2014 by members of the Botswana Police Services who were either acting jointly and or severally and are unknown to the Plaintiffs.
This publication further learnt that thereafter the Plaintiffs were detained at Molepolole Prison from the 28th March 2014 until a week later on or around the 7th April 2014, when they were transferred to the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants at the insistence of the Molepolole Prison Wardens and or other various officers whose names and ranks are to the refugees unknown.
It is understood that the said police officers and prison wardens were acting within the scope and course of their employment as police officers of the Botswana Police Services and under the Botswana Prison Services.
The Defendants, Attorney General Molokomme, Ministry of Justice, Defence, and Security and, Center for illegal immigrants, and the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, are therefore said to be vicariously liable for their acts, omissions and or wrongful conduct.
“At the time that the Plaintiffs were detained and or arrested the aforesaid police officers had no reasonable belief that the Plaintiff had committed or was about to commit a criminal offence.”
It is understood that the refugees were put in filthy custody holding cells and placed in the company of hardened criminals. The matter is expected to be heard in court soon.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.