'Fit to be scrapped', people say of the Immigration Act

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Recently, Dr Chiumonwu Henry, a Nigerian medical doctor practicing in Maun, was declared a prohibited immigrant and deported from Botswana by presidential decree. Before finally leaving, Dr Henry had attempted to reverse the deportation order slapped on him by appealing to the High Court, but was unsuccessful.

In turning down the appeal, Justice Maruping Dibotelo said the doctor had no right to be heard, as he could not demand the grounds or reasons that had informed the President's decision to deport him:
"The applicant is pursuing an inadmissible appeal, precluded by the law, since no appeal lies against a Presidential Declaration under section 7 (f) as read with section 11 (6) and 36 of the Immigration Act, and the court has no jurisdiction to set aside such a declaration."
Even so, Mmegi conducted a snap survey to learn what people think about this controversial law under which Dr Henry - and many others before him - was jettisoned out of Botswana. Paraphrased excerpts:

Boigotlo Toteng - a Gaborone lawyer
"Speaking for myself, I hate arbitrariness. I hate secrecy in public affairs. Unfortunately, these are the very dreadful things that the Act promotes. I think it gives too much power to the President, which can be easily abused, or used for the wrong reasons. The Act takes away the right of a person to be heard when an adverse decision has been taken against them. And then it takes away the jurisdiction of the courts to determine the legality and possible unlawfulness of such action. For me, it is a hollow excuse by apologists for such appalling pieces of legislation when the apologists say they are justified because they can be found in legal systems of liberal democracies all over the world.

Lone Kojane - a businessman from Phase IV in Gaborone
The President did the right thing to deport Dr Henry. All foreigners must know that Batswana have zero tolerance for crime.

Dumelang Saleshando - MP for Gaborone Central (BCP)
The Act is outdated and is liable to abuse by the President. It is also bad for business. In this day and era, you can't be throwing people out of Botswana without stating the reasons why. Marietta Bosch, the South African woman who was charged with murder, stood trial and was convicted under the relevant laws of Botswana. Although a foreigner, she did not become a convicted murderess until after due process of the law.

Akanyang Magama - MP for Gaborone South (BNF)
This case is similar to that of Professor Good. We at the BNF have always maintained that if someone has committed a crime, they must be tried in court. I wonder how the man (Dr Henry) is rounding up his affairs from outside Botswana? We have learnt that he had other businesses in addition to being a medical doctor. In any case, in the light transparency and good governance, this law is fit to be scrapped.

Botsalo Ntuane - Specially Elected MP
I am not conversant with the full circumstances surrounding the case. However, I have always maintained that if someone is involved in criminal activities, he or she must face the full wrath of the law. What relief do you have for people that he was indebted to? As a businessman, we can presume that he had taken out a loan or two, and therefore owed some people.

Rhoda Mabechu - resident of Broadhurst in Gaborone
Good riddance! Look at Botswana nowadays: Zimbabwean criminals are overrunning this country, and we can't contain them. I would say it's good-riddance. I find nothing wrong with what the President did to Dr Henry. What if the fellow was a criminal?

Baboloki Tlale - Executive Secretary of
BOCONGO
We do not know why the man was expelled. If a person has been charged, such a person should go through a trial. It is simply bad to expel someone before you give him or her the time to wind up his or her affairs.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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