FRANCISTOWN: There seems to be no end in sight to repatriate a Motswana child who was spirited away by her Zimbabwean father to Zimbabwe without the permission of her mother.
The accused, Nelson Mangena, is charged with ill-treatment of a child and another count of entering Botswana illegally.
The particulars of the offences are that Mangena borrowed the child from the child’s mother who is his ex-girlfriend promising to spend the weekend with the child as usual but he never returned her to her mother.
He instead, the prosecution added, illegally crossed the border with the child to Zimbabwe and left her with his relatives.
The child is now in the custody of authorities in Zimbabwe awaiting repatriation to Botswana.
But as it turned out in court on Wednesday, the prospects of returning the child to Botswana are still sketchy.
When Mangena appeared before Magistrate Cele Lebakeng, prosecutor Mompoloki Mabalane told the court that the state is awaiting response from authorities in Zimbabwe through Interpol to learn how far the process of repatriating the child to
“We are still waiting for a response through our mutual legal assistance with authorities in Zimbabwe about how far the process to bring back the child is. It is not an easy process because it involves authorities of two countries,” Mabalane said.
However, Lebakeng was not pleased with the response given by the state saying that the prosecution should understand that the accused has been in custody for many months ever since he was arrested.
Lebakeng added that the prosecution is always giving the same answer whenever Mangena appears in court.
At the end of the mention, the court made an order for the prosecution to avail the person who is handling the matter in Gaborone on February 12, 2020 so that that person could brief the court about how far he is with the process to repatriate the child to Botswana.