State legal representatives failed to appear in court to argue their case against a judgement which ordered government to provide foreign inmates with free ARVs.
Government made an urgent application asking to be given a chance to argue the merits of its case.
Two Zimbabwean prisoners, Dickson Tapela and Mbuso Piye who are HIV Positive assisted by Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) had approached the courts and sued the government for refusing to provide them with free ARVs while providing them at no cost to its citizens.
BONELA had argued through Advocate Gilbert Marcus that by denying foreign inmates the treatment, the government was violating their constitutional right to equality, dignity and non-discrimination.
BONELA also accused the government of adopting a contradictory stance as it refused to provide foreign inmates with ARVs, but continued to give them free treatment of opportunistic diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
Opposing the availing of ARVs to the foreigners Principal Counsel for the state David Moloise told the court that the refusal is in public interest.
He argued that government could not afford to provide such treatment to foreigners. He dismissed claims that by doing so government is depriving the applicants their right to live.
The judgment would be delivered on date yet to be communicated.