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Government Backtracks On Asylum Seekers’ Freedom

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  • Says the Judge has erred
  • It is the government ploy to buy time- asylum seekers Attorney

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: The government of Botswana has filed an appeal against the recent High Court ruling that ordered the release of the asylum seekers from Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants to Dukwi Refugee camp.
Recently the High Court ruled that the detention of the rejected asylum seekers is unlawful therefore they should be released and be transported to Dukwi Refugee Camp. However, the government defied the court order. This consequently prompted the asylum seekers Attorney Morgan Moseki to file an urgent application against government’s failure to comply with the initial order. Again the High Court ordered the government to release and transport the asylum seekers on or before last week Friday or face punitive charges. “The asylum seekers should be released on or before July 21st and be transported to Dukwi refugee camp failing which the government will pay punitive costs to the applicants,” stated Justice Solomon in her order a fortnight ago after the successful urgent application against government’s failure to comply.
Last week Friday after releasing and transporting only 60 of the asylum seekers to Dukwi Refugee camp, the government made a u-turn and filed an appeal against the order.
With the appeal, the government has engaged Collins Newman & Co to represent them. In the court papers the government argued that the Judge has erred by failing to consider the provision of section 18 of the immigration Act. Further their grounds for appeal is that the Judge has misdirected herself and erred in failing to find that the asylum seekers’ detention was lawful. “The Judge misdirected herself and erred in failing to find out that there was exceptional accordance justifying the asylum seekers detention at the Centre,” Collin Newman & Company wrote as their grounds for appeal.
The asylum seekers Attorney confirmed the development and expressed shock to the appeal. Moseki said what is funny about the appeal is that the government wrote letters to the petitioners immediately after the judgment promising to comply. Again Moseki pointed out that on July 7th the government wrote another letter promising to transport the asylum seekers before 21st July which was the deadline for the court High court order. “I am now surprised by this appeal after several promises. This is just a ploy to buy time against paying punitive costs. How do you make such promises then suddenly make a u-turn on the final day,” Moseki quizzed rhetorically, remarking that they have filed notice of opposition and the two parties are yet to meet.

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