Saturday, June 15, 2024

Decision by Botswana Police to deny permit challenged before court

A movement sparked by an incident in which a ruling party councilor is alleged to have impregnated a school going child in Sebina has approached the High Court seeking a  permit to engage in a peaceful demonstration.  

The movement, known as “Women and Men Against Sexual Abuse of Children”  approached the court following the arrest of the activists around Gaborone who were engaged in peaceful demonstrations at different locations.  

 Women and Men Against Sexual Abuse of Children movement activists were arrested after the police refused to grant them a permit to hold demonstrations that were aimed at sensitizing the community about sexual abuse of children.

The movement’s activist, Tumie Mohoasa stated in an interview that they have approached the High Court seeking a permit to engage in peaceful demonstrations to highlight the plight of the girl child.

Mohoasa  said they approached the court after the police failed to grant them a permit to raise awareness about the abuse of a girl child.

In refusing with the permit, Botswana Police said there was no crisis about the abuse of the girl child   

She said that if they win their case they intend to hand deliver a petition to the Minister of Education, Skills and Development, also to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as the head of state.

 “We want the president to address the nation about what is going on,”added Mohoasa.

Moahasa said  it was shocking to learn that the police refused to  grant a permit to allow them to go ahead with demonstrations arguing that  there were no statistics to support that the issue of sexual abuse among girl child  has reached crisis levels.

This is despite the fact that the Minister of Education,Skills and Development Unity Dow stated in an official statement that statistics were staggering.

Meanwhile Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, Director Cindy Kelemi says the society has for may years  neglected the girl child rights.

Kelemi stated that the government has failed to come up with education that could empower the girl child to survive in a hostile environment.  

Kelemi stated that the outcry from the public that was sparked by the recent incident in which the BDP councilor impregnated a school going child was good in terms of ensuring that a girl child is protected.

Emang Basadi, President Binkie Kerileng said   poverty contributes towards  the abuse of the girl child by elderly men.

Her comments come after a ruling party councilor and an Assistant Minister are alleged to have connived in a bid  to compensate a family after a councillor impregnated a school going child in Sebina.

Kerileng told The Telegraph  that parents of the girl child usually fail to take actions against perpetrators who defile young girls as they fear they could lose tangible benefits provided by well-off men.

She said that this incident happens more specially in rural areas where most of the families are disadvantaged.

The newly appointed Botswana Police Spokesperson Witness Boseja refused to comment on why they refused to grant the movement a permit. He said that since the matter was before the courts he could not comment about the issue of permit.


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