Wednesday, October 27, 2021

March against child sexual abuse scheduled for this Saturday

Following their victory at the Gaborone High Court last Wednesday the #IShallNotForget pressure group will finally march and deliver their petition this coming Saturday, June 4. 

The court victory followed the Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s refusal to grant the Women and Men Against Sexual Abuse movement a permit to march to the government enclave where they would deliver a petition demanding for action to be taken against an alleged Sebina paedophile and his accomplice.

Delivering the judgement last week Judge Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe said the police had acted ultra vires by denying the group a permit to march. He said by denying them the right to march the police had trampled on the applicants’ rights to assemble and associate.

As part of their reasons for the denial, BPS had cited that there were no statistics to prove the child abuse crisis the applicants had alluded to in their application, and  that they (BPS) had not been given time to mobilise for resources needed.  In his ruling Ketlogetswe made reference to the sexual abuse statistics released by the Minister of Education Unity Dow, saying the numbers are testament to the urgency with which the matter needed to be treated.

“The first responded be and is hereby directed to forthwith issue the applicants with a permit for a public procession, subject to such conditions as are reasonable and lawful,” the judge ordered. The pressure group were represented by attorneys Mboki Chilisa, Kelly Kewagamang, and Gosego Legowe, assisted by Osego Garebamono. The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) who’s application to appear as Amicus Curiae was granted, were represented by K.S. Botlhole.

In their statement following the issue of the permit, the Women and Men Against Sexual Abuse movement has invited all Batswana to take part in a peaceful march against sexual abuse of children on June 4th 2016, from 9am. The procession is scheduled to commence at the Gaborone Senior Secondary School Sports Grounds. 

“The Movement is an apolitical collective of conscientious men and women, parents, uncles, aunts, from all walks of life, across the political, religious, economic and cultural divide, from all corners of Botswana, who want to see an end to sexual abuse of children,” the statement said.  The say the march is intended to be a platform for national introspection; an opportunity for Batswana to share their concerns, express their grievances and propose solutions. To let survivors of child abuses know that the nation cares. “To let perpetrators know that we shall not countenance their conduct, that it has no place in our society.  To let our Government know that we are ready and willing partners in this fight, and stand ready to hold it to account to ensure that our children are protected.” The march shall also provide a platform for education and sensitisation. To this end, all stakeholders involved in the fight against sexual abuse of children are invited to set up stalls from 9am, for the purpose of freely disseminating information on their services, the statement says.“No trading of any sort will be allowed. The public is further informed that the movement does not handle money and all donations that have been proposed to make the march and other activities successful, must be made in kind. You can make enquiries at [email protected] and [email protected] .” THE ROUTE!
From GSS Grounds the procession heads down South Ring Road before turning right by South Ring Mall traffic lights into Kaunda Road. It then proceeds to turn left at the CID traffic lights into Independence Avenue going between Bontleng and White City. At the end of the road it joins the Old Lobatse Road and heads southwards, turning left at the Bokamoso JSS traffic lights and going along Machel Drive. It continues all the way to the UB circle and turns left, back to GSS Grounds where demonstrators will be addressed before handing over of the petition to the relevant authorities.

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