Legislators have expressed concern about the alarming deportation of foreign nationals under President Ian Khama’s reign.
Contributing to the debate on the budget for the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, MP Botsalo Ntuane called for a review of the deportation laws to allow for deportees to windup their affairs in Botswana before being booted out of the country.
“My concern is about fellow citizens employed by the deportees…how do such people get their gratuity and benefits…what about our commercial banks?, he asked, adding that in cases where the deportees were indebted to the banks it becomes cumbersome for the banks to recover money from the deportees once they are evicted from the country.
“Let us review the process and where it involves national security allow for such cases to be heard in camera,” said Ntuane.
Falling short of calling the system a hastily arranged trial, Ntuane said that the system is an assault on the rule of law and Botswana‘s justice system.
The Gaborone West-South MP also opined that those suspected of illicit conduct should be prosecuted before the courts instead of being kicked out.
“Being a country that believes in the rule of law, we must practice the rule of law,” said Ntuane.
Concurring with Ntuane, Francistown MP Wynter Mmolotsi also registered concern about the number of foreigners being deported from Botswana with little regard for the implications of the deportees and the country.
According to Mmolotsi, the deportations have made investors jittery. He said Botswana has also been branded an unsuitable place to conduct business due to uncertainty for foreign nationals.
Mmolotsi accused security agents and immigration personnel of abusing the country’s deportation laws to settle personal squabbles with many of the deportees.
“The deportations are a threat to Botswana’s rule of law and its time these cases are heard in court,” he told parliament.