Today is a momentous day in history, a victorious win in ascertaining liberty, privacy, and dignity of the LGBTIQ persons in Botswana and definitely, this judgment sets precedence for the world at large”, says LEGABIBO CEO Thato Moruti. “Moreover, a new dawn for better education and awareness about the LGBTIQ issues. I anticipate that more engagement with various arms of government will also set a trajectory towards a more inclusive and diverse nation.”Thato Moruti, CEO- LEGABIBO
Indeed it’s, Botswana has been fighting to decriminalize consensual sex between same-sex partners since 2003 a case of Kaamane vs The State that involved homosexual offenses that had occurred back in 1994 and later on in 2017 a case of the pioneering of the registration of the Lesbian Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) in the Rammoge vs the State.
The LEGAGIBO protects, promotes, and defends the rights of minorities and advocates for their human rights. They have been working closely with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) to come up with research: “The Law needs to change we want to be free: The impact of laws criminalizing same-sex relationships in Botswana “ that was represented as evidence in court. SALC works to advance human rights in the southern countries among them Botswana.
The court case Letsweletse Motshidiemang vs the Attorney General began on Oct 12, 2021. On 11th June 2019, the High Court decriminalized consensual same-sex doing away with sections 164 (a), 165 (c), and 165 of Botswana penal code: carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature attempts to commit carnal knowledge and acts of gross indecency respectively. The state appealed on 22nd June 2019 the high court decision of 11th June 2019.
The court of appeal then set the 29th of November 2021 as the appeal date and upheld the High court ruling of decriminalization. #DecrimBotswana
It was a unanimous decision of the five-judge bench on the grounds of the aforementioned sections to be violating the right to privacy, liberty, and equality of law, security protection of the person, and freedom from discrimination.
“For me to have this judgment in my lifetime is an important milestone, a relief, and an indication that people’s civil liberties are taken seriously. I hope Parliament of Botswana will learn from the judiciary and take the necessary steps to institute legislation that protects the LGBTI community from any kind of violence,”Caine Youngman, Head of Policy and Legal Advocacy, LEGABIBO
It is a big win since 1999 South Africa was also facing the same win. It is a win for Bostwana! It is a win for Africa!
”Activist Power!! Botswana has been liberated from British archaic laws! We celebrate you today free from hate! Humanity over everything! LGBT people are humans too. It is time for Africa.” @makenanjeri