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07 Jun, 2019

HIGH COURT TO RULE IN LEGABIBO CHALLENGE AGAINST CRIMINALISATION OF SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS IN BOTSWANA

Botswana's High Court will on Tuesday 11th June deliver judgement in a case in which the constitutionality of the provisions that criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons was challenged. In a statement, human rights advocacy group, Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), said it had submitted factual evidence that sought to demonstrate that continued criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual acts perpetuated stigma, intolerance, homophobia and violence against members of the LGBT community. During the heads of arguments on the 14th March 2019, LEGABIBO advanced submissions before the full bench of the High Court on the practical effect and social impact that sections 164 (a) and 164 (c) and section 167 of the Penal Code have on the daily lives and experiences of LGBT persons. These provisions criminalize same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults in Botswana and imposes a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment. LEGABIBO highlighted the criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct limits LGBT persons’ ability to access basic social services, increases their chances to discrimination, and infringes on their basic human dignity. The rights group is represented by Tshiamo Rantao and supported by the Southern African Litigation Center.  

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07 Jun, 2019

BOTSWANA, ANGOLA AND NAMIBIA REVIEW TRANS-BOUNDARY COOPERATION

Botswana, Angola and Namibia this week held a trans-boundary cooperation meeting in Maun to review their existing knowledge and cooperation on conservation and management of the Cubango-Okavango River Basin and the Okavango Delta World Heritage property. Effective trans-boundary cooperation among the three countries on management of the shared Cubango-Okavango River basin is said to be critical for the conservation of the Okavango Delta heritage property in Botswana. According to a statement, the meeting was also meant to assess the opportunity and obstacles for strengthening the conservation of the shared water resource and moving forward with the trans boundary nomination of the Okavango Delta. The three countries have denied reports that Angola could be doing massive construction along the Cubango-Okavango river basin which was allegedly blocking water from flowing down into the Okavango Delta. Fears were that if the reports were true, the actions would possibly result in the drying of the Okavango Delta something which could negatively impact Botswana's tourism. The Okavango Delta is a major contributor to Botswana's tourism.  

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06 Jun, 2019

FORMER DIS BOSS SLAPS SUNDAY STANDARD WITH P5 MILLION LAWSUIT

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Just days after the Sunday Standard newspaper received a 5 million Pula lawsuit from South African business and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Director General Issac Kgosi has slapped the publication and its Editor, Outsa Mokone with a P4 million lawsuit. Kgosi has, through his lawyer Thabiso Tafila of Thabiso Tafila Attorneys, filed for defamation at the High Court of Botswana. According to court papers, Kgosi is not suing the paper for just one story but a series of articles that he says defamed him. In his filing, Kgosi says that he has suffered severe reputational damage as the articles were calculated to expose him to hatred, contempt or ridicule him by suggesting that he was corrupt, not fit for the office he held, criminal and that he used his influence or position to enrich himself and those close to him unlawfully. As a result Kgosi demanded the publication pay him 4 million Pula, and interest at a rate of 10 percent per year from date of judgement to date of payment. Just like Motsepe, he demands that the cost for the lawsuit be paid by the newspaper. This week, Motsepe’s attorneys submitted that Sunday Standard’s story exposed his reputation to damage that can only be compensated by a payout of 5 million Pula, and within five days from date of the court order, publish an apology on the front-page for seven calendar days as well as on its website.  

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