The government of Botswana is reportedly contemplating revoking the status of a number of political asylum seekers who are presently facing drug trafficking charges. This decision apparently comes after government recently found itself grappling with a surging number of political asylum seekers who are facing drug charges.
Sunday Standard is reliably informed that government has taken a firm decision to address the problem, and has resolved that asylum seekers who are found to be on the wrong side of the law, especially with regards to drugs, will be declared persona non grata instead of being allowed to stand trial.
The decision came after it was realized that most of the political refugees in Botswana are involved in the drug industry, and some of them are facing trial while others are roaming the streets after paying their fines.
Detective Senior Superintendent Mariam Kilano of Drugs and Narcotics told Sunday Standard that the police are worried about the increasing number of political asylum seekers who are involved in drug trafficking, especially cocaine.
“A lot of refugees are involved in drug trafficking, especially the Congolese, Tanzanians and Kenyans,” she said.
Madoda Nasha, the Assistant Protection Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Botswana, confirmed that the police have informed them about refugees who are involved in drug dealing.
He said his office has held several talks with refugees about drug trafficking and warned them that they should conduct themselves in a manner that conforms to Botswana law.
He added that the UNHCR will not rescue any refugee who is found to be involved in any criminal activity.
Ross Sanoto, the Director of Defence, Justice and Security in the President’s Office, said that his office acts after a refugee has been convicted before the court of law.
“If it is a very serious case, the refugee will lose his or her status,” he said.