Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Human rights lawyer condemns VP comments on gays and lesbians

Human Rights Lawyer, Uyapo  Ndadi says  it is unfortunate that  the  Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi seems to  suggest that gays and lesbian should not enjoy their  sexuality.

Human Rights Organization, BONELA  and Ndadi stated that Masisi statements were self-defeating by suggesting in that it was not a criminal offence to be a  gay or a lesbian in Botswana.

Masisi further stated that it only becomes an offence when someone is involved in the unnatural act a statement that others called on VP to apologize for such statements.  

Ndadi stated  that it was surprising that  Botswana still has a law policing people in their bedrooms even when they are consenting adults.  

Ndadi said that it is surprising that Masisi was suggesting that people should be lesbians and gays but they should not be involved in sexual activities.  

“It is unfortunate that  in  2015 we are still debating this issue of whether or not we should allow gay and lesbian people to enjoy their sexuality. It also unfortunate that the VP seems to suggest that it is fine to be gay or lesbian as long as they  are celibate,”said Ndadi.

He went further to question why the VP wanted to restrict individuals  who are  gays and lesbians  not to engage  in sexual activities.

He said that it was a self-defeating argument  for Masisi to state that  people can be gays and lesbians only when they are not involved in sexual activities.

Ndadi further argued that the ruling party position that they will lose elections if they change the law of same sex relationships was not true.

He said that the BDP could not lose elections due to legalization of same sex relationships.

He said that BDP can lose elections on the basis that the ruling party fails to resolve issues of employment, failure to provide basic utilities such as water and electricity.

Ndadi further stated that the opposition parties have gone out to state that they will not discriminate people based on sexuality.

“It could not cost anyone elections. As other parties have gone on record where they embrace sexual minorities. I don’t think this  an issue that could make a party lose elections,” added Ndadi.

He said that elections are not as important as  people rights. 

He said that  if a country acknowledges that there are gays and lesbians within the communities in Botswana there is a need to make sure that they live a dignified life; a  life in which they will not feel like they are criminals.

Ndadi said that there has never been a survey that informs the VP that they will lose elections if the government decriminalizes sodomy.  He said that there is a need to change the law to make the law accommodative.

BDP Chairman , Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed last week that they could lose elections if they legalize same sex  relationships in Botswana. Masisi stated a press conference when responding to his position on President Festus Mogae’s criticism on Botswana’s critical position on gays and lesbians at a UN meeting.

Masisi stated that the position of Botswana is that it is not an offence to have gay or lesbian feelings .

He said that it only becomes an offence when someone is  involved in same  sex relationships.

He stated that there is a possibility that they could not be welcomed by Botswana if they impose same sex relationships. He said that Batswana could retaliate by not voting them where the party could lose elections.

There was uproar after Masisi statements where Botswana Network on Ethics,Law and HIV/AIDs called on VP to apoligise for his statement about gays and lesbians.


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