LEGABIBO Back In Court!

The Lesbians Gays and Bisexuals – LeGaBiBo case is set to be back in court early next year. The roll call is set for the 8th January 2016 while the hearing is set for the 15th January 2016. The Government of Botswana has appealed the ruling which was in favor for LeGaBiBo to register and operate as a registered NGO.

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On March 12, 2012 the Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration rejected the applicants’ application to register LeGaBiBo on the basis that the Botswana Constitution “does not recognize homosexuals and that the objectives of the intended organization are contrary to Section 7 (2) of the Societies Act.”

Following that, the applicants appealed against the decision but the appeal was also rejected on October 12, 2012.

Thus on on March 25, 2013 the applicants, represented by Dow Associates, filed a case before the High Court. The application was also supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and BONELA, she said.

In the application, the applicant’s argued that by rejecting their application as LeGaBiBo, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs violated their right to form and join an association. The applicants would seek to emphasise the fundamental importance of the rights to freedom of association and expression in a democracy which they believed, strengthened the ability of individuals to collectively organise to promote their rights.

On November 14, 2014 LeGaBiBo won the legal case in the country’s High Court, allowing it to be officially registered, but the Government of Botswana appealed the courts ruling in February 2015.

Once registered, LeGaBiBo would provide an opportunity for lesbians, gays and bisexuals to form part of an association that would provide them with information on human rights and advocate for their rights, particularly the right to access health services.

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