Botswana LGBTI organisation appeals for help to fight denied registration

After yet another failed attempt at registration by the Botswana authorities, the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo) is reaching out to civil society for help in getting registered by the government of Botswana.

LeGaBiBo is a human rights organisation based in Botswana whose mandate is to represent the interests and protect the rights of the LGBTI community.

In 2005 LeGaBiBo applied for registration with Botswana’s registrar of societies but was refused to register in 2007, the registrar said, “We have considered your application, however we wish to advise you that the country (Botswana) constitution does not recognize homosexuals. Plus the societal act Section 7 (2) (a) which says that: The Registrar shall refuse to register and shall not exempt from registration a local society where it appears to him that any of the objects of the society is, or is likely to be used for any unlawful purpose or any purpose prejudicial to or incompatible with peace, welfare or good order in Botswana.”

A litigation case was officially filed in 2011 through the Botswana Network on Ethics Laws HIV/Aids (Bonela) but later withdrawn for insufficient evidence in the sense of affidavits.

Earlier this year (2012) the organisation re-applied to register again and submitted as organisational objectives the sensitisation of society, law enforcement officers, health care workers and teachers about human rights to prevent stigma and discrimination against the LGBTI community in Botswana.

The registration was denied again in March 2012.

LeGaBiBo and Bonela have now appealed to all their local partners, sister organisations, diplomatic missions, human rights organisations, local and international donor community, international policy organisations to write letters of solidarity requesting the Botswana Minister of Labour and Home Affairs to overturn the ruling denying registration to the organisation.

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