Dienda concerned over Namibians in Botswana custody

Martin Endjala

Popular Democratic Movement MP Elma Dienda is concerned over the treatment of Namibians incarcerated in neighbouring Botswana.

Her concern, it appears emanate from Botswana’s human rights record such as its alleged shoot to kill policy for poachers and death penalty still on its statue books.

“ If Botswana has a shoot to kill policy and capital punishment is legal by virtue of Section 203 of the Penal Code of Botswana, how will incarcerated non-nationals be treated within the prisons of Botswana? Will dignity be observed? Will the objective of rehabilitation be observed,” Dienda asked in her statement in the National Assembly on a Memorandum of Agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons between the two countries.

She said that the agreement has at its objective the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the field of prisons and legal enforcement.

She continued that it will give Namibia the power to ensure that its citizens imprisoned in Botswana can return home to be rehabilitated adequately for them to be returned to any society as changed persons.

‘’The establishment of a framework within which Namibia and Botswana set out modalities on the transfer of convicted and confined persons will allow Namibian inmates to be treated as per the Constitution of Namibia, in a similar manner as inmates from Botswana are being treated in Namibia,’’ Dienda said.

She further raised concern over when the conditions of transfer will be agreed upon between the two neighbours and brought to parliament for ratification.

In conclusion, she said she is in support of the agreement, because it will lead to the promulgation of effective legislation, which will allow Namibian inmates to be transferred from Botswana to be rehabilitated in accordance with the Namibian constitutional protection and international human right treaties Namibia has signed.

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