19 January 2015
Gaborone – The Botswana government is appealing a high court case which gave Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (Legabido) the right to register as an organisation, court records showed on Monday.
In papers filed before the court of appeal, the government’s lawyers argued that its constitution did not recognise homosexuality.
Government wants the high court ruling to be set aside.
In November last year, high court judge Terrence Rannowane ruled that Legabibo could register its organisation.
Rannowane said he had examined the objectives of Legabibo “with a view of finding out if any of them offends against section 72 of the Societies Act”.
He concluded that this was not the case and set aside the decision by the Register of Societies to deny Legabibo registration and recognition in 2012.
Anna Mmolai-Chalmers from the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and Aids said the organisation was aware that government was appealing the case.
“We will have to wait for the appeal ruling,” she said.
“There is nothing we can do at the moment.”
The labour and home affairs ministry and the Register of Societies previously refused to let the organisation register, arguing that the constitution did not recognise homosexuality.
Chalmers said they had already submitted registration documents with the Register of Societies after the high court ruling.
The Registrar of Society had not replied to the application.
Meanwhile, the Botswana Court of Appeal is in session this week. However, the government’s appeal case has not been included on the court roll.