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rainbow ruler   :  Archive   :  2004   :  BW Judicial Jan 2004


Judicial CP - January 2004

Corpun file 13156


Mmegi/The Reporter, Gaborone, 16 January 2004

Another crack-down against illegal immigrants

By Ryder Gabathuse

Francistown, Jan 15, 2004 (Mmegi/The Reporter/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- The crack down on illegal immigrants has been extended to villages surrounding the city. The "Operation Clean Up" campaign which started last Sunday and ended on Wednesday, targeted illegal immigrants mainly from Zimbabwe.

Spokesperson for the operation, Senior Superintendent Boikhutso Dintwa of Botswana police told Mmegi yesterday that they have nabbed about 552 illegal immigrants mainly in and around Borolong village, west of Francistown.

The joint operation between the police, the army, immigration, prisons and other government departments, was conducted from house-to-house. "We nabbed some of our targets from their work places where they were employed illegally. Some were travelling in the bush whilst others were from the roadblocks that we mounted," explained Dintwa.

About 100 of the immigrants were tried at the customary court and given three strokes of the cane each. Some paid admission of guilty fines for various offences such as overstaying in the country and selling wares without permits. The arrested immigrants were taken to the Centre for Illegal Immigrants where they were kept for a short period before some of them were deported.

Copyright 2004 Africa News Service (via Comtex). All rights reserved

Corpun file 12761

The Herald, Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 January 2004

State Orders Probe in Flogging Incident

THE Government yesterday said it has instructed Zimbabwe's ambassador in Botswana to investigate reports of Zimbabweans who were recently flogged at a customary court in that country.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mrs Pavelyn Musaka confirmed receiving reports of 100 Zimbabweans having been flogged in public for various alleged crimes but said the Government could only comment after investigations by the embassy.

"The Ministry has instructed our ambassador Mr Phelekezela Mphoko to investigate the matter and if established that the reports are true then we can take it up with the Botswana authorities," said Mrs Musaka.

Contacted for comment, a second secretary at the Botswana High Commission in Zimbabwe, who refused to give his name, said the commission could only comment on the matter if the request was put in writing.

"We will only be able to respond once we are offered a written request.

The ambassador is not here and once she is around we will sit down and look at the story and offer a response," said the official.

According to Mmegi, a Botswana daily paper, the humiliating punishment was part of a joint operation by that country's police and army to crackdown on illegal immigrants, mainly Zimbabweans working or selling wares in villages around Francistown.

The newspaper said the operation, code-named "Operation Clean Up" resulted in the arrest of 552 Zimbabweans for entering the neighbouring country without valid documents or vending without permits.

The spokesperson for the operation, Senior Superintendent Boikhutso Dintwa of Botswana police said about 552 illegal immigrants were arrested mainly from within and around Borolong village, west of Francistown. He said 100 Zimbabweans were tried at the customary court and given three strokes each.

He said some of them paid admission of guilty fines for various offences such as overstaying in that country and selling wares without permits.

Last year Botswana said it was deporting 2 500 Zimbabweans every week.

Politicians in the neighbouring country blame Zimbabweans for the increasing crime rate in their country.

This has resulted in a number of operations to flush out the illegal immigrants, a situation that has at some instances resulted in the abuse of Zimbabweans legally resident in that country.

Botswana has also faced mounting criticism over its decision to erect an electric fence on its border with Zimbabwe ostensibly to control the movement of animals between the two countries.

Critics of the move say the fence is meant to control the movement of people between the two countries and was mainly targeted at Zimbabweans.

Copyright © 2004 The Herald. All rights reserved.

blob Follow-up: 2 February 2004: Zim ambassador concerned about 'Xmas' remarks

Corpun file 12747

Botswana Daily News Online, 23 January 2004

Chief calls for longer jail terms for stockthieves

Kgosi Solomon Pharithi of Molalatau wants people convicted of stock theft jailed for periods exceeding 15 years.

Kgosi Pharithi, who was speaking during a kgotla meeting addressed by Bobirwa MP James Maruatona, said dikgosi must be empowered to pass longer sentences to curb stock theft and that corporal punishment must be applied to discipline the youth.

Pharithi was also concerned about shortage of land and said some people have failed to plough as a result.

A village development committee (VDC) member, Sephethene Kgothi, criticised civil servants for neglecting their work. She said people now depended on the MP's office for help.

Residents commended Maruatona for a job well done and one resident suggested that one of the roads in Bobirwa should be called Maruatona Highway.

Maruatona said corporal punishment has been reintroduced to curb unbecoming behaviour by the youth and fight crime and lamented that mushrooming of cattle posts encouraged crime, especially stock theft.

The MP encouraged them to use the constituency office if they had some issues that needed attention instead of waiting for kgotla meetings.

News Source: All local news stories were supplied by the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA)

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