Two Ugandan men, Menyha Arone Francis Kisame and Brian Douglas Katabalwa, were further remanded in custody following their appearance before Village Magistrate’s Court for allegations of trafficking in persons.
The male victim aged 28 is also from Uganda and was allegedly trafficked into Botswana for labour purposes.
The duo was arrested in Gaborone on April 1, 2018 at Sir Seretse Khama Airport (SSKA).
Appearing before Principal Magistrate Goodwill Makofi, the prosecution told court that Katabalwa is a refugee from Uganda, but surprisingly their investigations have revealed that he has a passport and frequently visits Uganda, the country that he had claimed he ran away from to seek refuge in Botswana.
They further revealed to have found affidavits of other Ugandans on Kisame, hence suspecting that they might have been trafficked into Botswana.
“Investigations into the matter are ongoing to establish how such people came into Botswana and their whereabouts. We suspect that a majority of Ugandans might have been trafficked into Botswana. The recent victim was trafficked into Botswana from Uganda through Zimbabwe,” the prosecution urged.
The prosecution went on to oppose the duo’s bail pending investigations.
The prosecution argued that the duo is facing a serious crime of trafficking persons that usually comes along with
Asked if they had anything to say, Kisame told the court that he did not traffic anyone but had just invited the alleged victim to Botswana from Uganda.
However, magistrate Makofi advised him not to disclose any information because he will be given a chance to speak during trial.
“You are not forced to say anything to court now. You will later on, as the case progresses, be given time to say whatever information you want.Now it is not the right time,” Makofi said.
Kisame pleaded for bail, stating that he is an employee and fears that if he stays in custody for a long time, he might loss his job. He also told the court that he has a family to look after.
Making a similar plea, Katabalwa told the court his family resides in Mmopane and needs his care.
“I am pleading with this court to grant me bail because I have three children residing at Mmopane village who need my care,” Katabalwa said.