Botswana LGBTI’s position on Rre. Mogae and his activism.

 

The former President of the Republic of Botswana, Rre. Festus Mogae has over the years initiated his activism on access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care support for criminalised populations that include men who have sex with men. In a recent interview with Africa Renewal dated 15 January 2016 Rre Mogae has reiterated this position by calling on African leaders to be more open minded, informed and embrace differences.

The LGBTI community in Botswana would like to recognise and commend the selfless leadership that Rre Mogae has shown over the years. We appreciate his support for LGBTI community in Africa, in condemning some of the attitudes of African leaders towards homosexuals by affirming that it is a shame and embarrassment for a leader to make hateful public utterances towards fellow human beings let alone pick and chose which sector of the community to protect and or discriminate against.

We would like to affirm his wise words that ‘leadership is not about you as a leader…’ but about the people that you lead; leadership is impartial and leaders across Africa and the world should take heed to this advice. We appreciate forward thinking leadership and we would like the current Botswana leadership to take this advice into consideration while making public utterances about homosexuality to be non- discriminatory and non-stigmatising.

Further, the Botswana LGBTI community appreciates Rre. Mogae’s continued advocacy for repeal of discriminatory laws. Although we appreciate the argument that these laws are inherited from colonial masters, we would like to acknowledge the Botswana Government’s continued efforts to reform laws to be more inclusive of the emerging populations: e.g. the 2010 Amendment of Employment Act which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Botswana in this case has demonstrated that we cannot always give colonial laws as a reason to continue to discriminate against fellow human beings.

The LGBTI community would like to join Rre. Mogae in calling on traditional and religious leaders including African leaders to be selfless in their leadership inform themselves so that they are well equipped in making decisions and public pronouncements with the aim of protecting the marginalized communities. The LGBTI community appreciates this kind of exemplary leadership that he is demonstrating and we call upon more Batswana leaders to be human rights defenders and make clear their support for the LGBTI community in Botswana. We call upon our leaders to join Rre Mogae in the fight for non-discrimination, building tolerance and acceptance towards the LGBTI.  The Botswana LGBTI community pledge support of Rre. Mogae’s activism and commit to working with more leaders in building a tolerant nation.

 

For further information, contact BONELA on;

BONELA LGBTI Program Coordinator

Mrs. Anna Mmolai-Chalmers

Tel: +267 393 25 16

Email: legabibocoordinator@bonela.org

Mr. Caine Youngman

BONELA LGBTI Advocacy Officer

Tel: +267 393 25 16

Email: caineyoungman@gmail.com

Mr. Bradley Fortuin

BONELA LGBTI Communications Officer

Tel: +267 393 25 16

Email: dblfortuin@gmail.com

 

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