FRANCISTOWN: Good Samaritans intervened over the weekend to help asylum seekers at the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants with food, after it emerged that they were deliberately being denied food by government authorities- following government’s loss of a case in which their detention at the center was declared illegal by the High Court.
The asylum seekers are waiting to be released to the Dukwi Refugee Camp but are said to be stranded as government continues to decline helping them.
Volunteers belonging to Molao Matters, an NGO in Francistown headed efforts to get the asylum seekers with meals. “We have established that the food sometimes comes with conditions that certain forms must be signed,” a representative of the NGO commented anonymously.
The asylum seekers are said to be boycotting food rations as they are sometimes provided with poorly cooked and aged cabbage, which they insist is not suitable for children. “The government has to understands that it is their responsibility to feed these people once they are in the centre,” added the Molao Matters representative who said they were trying to get to the bottom of the issue to establish what the real problem is.
Members of the public are said to have headed the call to help the hungry foreigners, providing them with meals dignified meals among other things.
Botswana Prison Service (BPS) Spokesperson Wamorena Ramolefhe however rubbished claims that the asylum seekers were denied food, saying “As far as I know no one can be denied food.”
Ramolefhe however appeared unware of the development that transpired on Saturday, where members of the society approached the center to help the asylum seekers. “I will have to find out first before responding,” he told The Botswana Gazette.