A Ugandan exile is fighting tooth and nail not to be deported to his country after his political refugee status was revoked recently.
Musa Isabirye has filed an urgent application against government after he was detained on March 9. He is currently detained at Central Police Station in Gaborone.
He said he has lived in Botswana since 2000 and his many attempts to be granted refugee status only bore fruit in 2011. He said in his affidavit that to the best of his knowledge, he remains a refugee recognised by Botswana laws. He said he is not aware of the revocation of his refugee status and wants to be relocated to another country.
In the past, he said he has taken firm positions in relation to the welfare conditions of the Dukwi Refugee Settlement Camp where he had been living. His efforts to have the concerns addressed were perceived by the authorities as a revolt. Last year, Isabirye and other refugees were arrested and detained after they camped at the UN building in Gaborone to press their demands for better treatment by the authorities.
He said no one informed them of the offence they had committed. After spending a week at the Molepolole Prison they were transferred to Francistown and kept at the Centre for Illegal Immigrants. “That is where we remain detained without any charge or charges preferred against us. We moved an application for our release in Francistown High Court on which we were successful. I was detained on the 9th March 2015 whilst at River Walk for no apparent reason,” he said.
So far, he has not been informed why he is behind bars. The married father of two said he has been served with documents showing that his status as a recognised refugee has been revoked.
He said he has a right under the law to be heard before such a decision is taken against him. He said the decision was not taken in the best interest of his children as required by the Children’s Act. “In circumstances I intend to launch a review application in that regard.” Attorney Martin Dingake represents the Ugandan. The case is before, Justice Singh Walia.