Clued-up Batswana (and Namibians) are taking full advantage of overly generous Canadian laws that confer eligibility for refugee protection on those at the risk of being corporally punished. As at 2013, 76 Batswana ÔÇô some refugees, were living in Canada as permanent residents. This is the most recent figure available from Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship official website.
Canada has the most generous asylum system of any country in the world and has naturally been subjected to abuse by opportunists from all over the world. Those who qualify for this protection are called “convention refugees” and are defined as “people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation. Last month, the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS put out a remonstrative press statement about a Motswana homosexual man who has been charged with sodomy. The Botswana penal code describes sodomy as an act against the order of nature. The suspect ÔÇô indeed all homosexual people in Botswana ÔÇô qualify to claim refugee protection in Canada.
For centuries, Batswana have used corporal punishment on wrongdoers and to date Botswana is one of the few countries world that retain judicial corporal punishment. Canada considers this method of punishment to be “cruel and unusual treatment” and its laws extend protection to people who face it. A Motswana was given refugee protection in Canada because he faced judicial corporal punishment. Sunday Standard learns that a young man from Kgatleng also sought and was granted refugee protection after claiming that he feared he would be circumcised at the indigenous initiation school that was restarted by Kgosi Kgafela II in 2009. What is commonly known as “passion killing” in Botswana also qualifies one for refugee protection in Canada. A term that was franchised into public consciousness by Sunday Standard editor, Outsa Mokone, at the turn of the century and much to former president Festus Mogae’s displeasure, “passion killing” basically means spousal murder. In as far as this choice of words is concerned, this displeasure seemed displaced because “passion killing” is merely a recasting of the more formal “crime of passion” construction. During Mogae’s time, the passion killings rate spiked dramatically, causing the rest of the world to take notice. Good sources say that some Batswana women were given refugee protection in Canada because they cited fear of being murdered by their spouses as the reason for seeking such protection.
With the travesty that was the 1884 Berlin Conference, African families were separated by an artificial geopolitical border. In extreme cases, the new border cut through villages which is why there is Phitsane Molopo in both South Africa and Botswana and why some unscrupulous people in border villages have dual citizenship. According to a source, when some Namibian youth failed to secure Canadian refugee protection, they went back home, crossed into Botswana and used relatives this side to get Botswana passports. Thus armed, they launched a second and successful attempt to get Canadian refugee protection.
While some applications fail, the Canadian parliament has passed legislation that makes it very difficult for those found not to be genuine refugees to be sent home. According to one study, “by the time a negative decision was made, the individual often would have married a Canadian, found a job, or even purchased property. Having established strong ties to Canada, it was difficult to justify removal.”