There won’t be any official Gays and Lesbian Association of Botswana (LEGABIBO) anytime soon.
That is if the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu who denied the organisation legal registration in the past can continue to have his wishes granted.
In an answering affidavit in an ongoing court battle between government and LEGABIBO, minister Batshu argues this week that his actions to deny the organisation legal registration are justified although he does not go into details of how so.
He further states that contrary to the 18 applicants claim that a denial to exist as a legal entity limits their constitutional rights his decision does not deserve to be set aside because where it in fact does so, it is at a limited and justifiable extent.
The minister was responding to an affidavit by 18 LEGABIBO members represented by their lawyer Unity Dow who had lodged an appeal against Batshu’s decision to deny them legal registration last month.
The gays and lesbians had stated in their affidavit that apart from denying them a constitutional right to form an association, the minister’s decision further denied them the right to equal protection, with similarly situated persons, of the law and it therefore consequently deserved to be set aside.
They further argued that the discriminatory effect of the Minister’s decision made them prejudiced in that it did not afford the -applicants the same rights and legal protections as persons of a heterosexual orientation.
BONELA Executive Director Uyapo Ndadi could not be drawn into discussing the matter as it is still to go before the courts.