Botswana has rebuffed a suggestion by the European Union to reinstate a moratorium on executions as a first step towards the universal abolition of death penalty.
Defence Justice and Security Minister Shaw Kgathi said the European Union should learn that Botswana is not a copy cat, does not take its cue from any external force and does things in the best interest of Batswana. Kgathi told the Sunday Standard this week that the EU can seat on its opinions on capital punishment because Botswana is not interested in hearing them.
Kgathi’s rebuff came after the EU issued a statement condemning the recent execution of Patrick Gabaakanye, in Gaborone. Gabaankanye, a 65 year old man of Marulamantsi ward in Serowe was officially executed in the early morning of 25th May 2016; following a conviction of murder imposed by the High Court of Botswana on 13th March 2014.
He was convicted for the murder of a 75 year old man at Gamosusu land in Metsimotlhabe Village in the Kweneng District on 26th May 2010.
His appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 30th July 2015.
Gabaankanye previous convictions include two offences of robbery and murder. He killed a security guard using a hand gun during robbery. He was sentenced to 10 and 15 years imprisonment respectively for both offences.
European Union believes that the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment and has consistently called for its universal abolition. The EU argued that experience worldwide has demonstrated that the death penalty fails to act as a deterrent to crime.
Kgathi told Sunday Standard that Botswana is a democratic country based on development of policies, rules, regulations and laws. “These were all made based on consultations, Batswana were consulted. Until the majority of Batswana believe that we should change our laws to something they may wish to see that is when we can rethink capital punishment,” said Kgathi.
Kgathi says Botswana is not a dictatorship, “we are a democratic country, we are not a government based on sensationalism, we are not copy cats we do things in the interest of the people we are ruling.”