'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.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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