20.11.2016: BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF HIV POSITIVE MINE WORKERS AT BCL AND TATI NECKLE MINE


The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is concerned by the report found in the Mmegi Newspaper stating that when both BCL and Tati Nickle Mining Company were closed no provisions of transfer were made for the mine workers on ARVs.

The alleged failure on the part of government to put in place and in advance measures that will ensure that basic rights of mine workers are not affected by the abrupt closure of the mine will constitute a serious violation of their right to health, particularly access to treatment, their right to dignity and to be treated in a humane and non-degrading manner among other human rights.

Overlooking the likely impact of the closure of the mines on access to essential medicines such as ARVs by mine workers and consequently failing to adequately plan for this eventuality will obviously impact negatively on adherence by those on treatment and subsequently their health as some clients may be lost to follow up. In support of the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWM) we therefore call upon the government to make concerted efforts to consult and link miners on treatment who have been accessing medical care through the mines or mine schemes to other facilities and/or schemes that would immediately absorb them.

This process should include a diligent and speedy transfer of medical records for all patients in a manner that respects their right to confidentiality and dignity. We also urge miners whose rights may be violated through this process to contact BONELA without hesitation for free legal services and psycho-social support.

 

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information please contact:

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +267 73 58 68 886

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page: BONELA

17.11.2016: HONORABLE ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, BOTLHOGILE TSHIRELETSO TO OFFICIALY OPEN BONELA 2014/2015 AGM

The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) will on the 18th November 2016 hold an Annual General Meeting for the year 2014/2015 under the theme “A New Era in Health Rights: Fighting Margilisation”. The meeting will be officially opened by Honorable Assistant Minister of Local Government, Botlhogile Tshireletso.

The meeting will among other things adopt BONELA’s new Strategic Plan 2017- 2020, elect into office a new board that will serve the organization for two years and will set new priorities and outline BONELA’s roadmap for the next four (4) years.

The Meeting will be held at Woodlane Hotel, Riverwalk from 3pm until 8pm.

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information please contact:

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     +267 73 58 68 886

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

31.08.2016: BONELA CLIENT FOUND GUILTY UNDER SECTION 164 OF THE PENAL CODE


The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) regrets to announce that one of its clients has been found guilty of violating section 164 of the Penal Co de of Botswana. This was after  an  accusation  that  he  had  slept  with  another  man.  He  has  been  sentenced  by  a  Gaborone Magistrate Court to three and half years, two of which have been suspended for three years. When  the  matter  started  our  client  was  charged  with  an  offence  of  having  had  unlawful  carnal
knowledge with another man without his consent. This charge was unexpectedly altered to that of him having had carnal knowledge with another man  contrary to section 164 of the Penal Code. The last charge criminalises same sex acts for being unnatural.


BONELA has always held the position that section 164 of the Penal Code should not be part of the laws  of  Botswana  for  several  reasons.  Among  others,  section  164  of  the  Penal  Code  is unconstitutional  as  it  discriminates  against  homosexual  people;  non-discrimination  being  a fundamental  right  to  be  enjoyed  by all  under  the constitution.  This  was  reiterated  in  the  recently delivered  LEGABIBO  registration  case  that  “nothing  could  be  plainer  and  that  there  are  no
exclusions whatever”.


Cindy Kelemi, the Executive Director of BONELA stated that over and above the foregoing we are of  the  strong  view  that  this  discriminatory  law  fuels  stigma  faced  by  homosexual  people, perpetuating their unequal treatment which also has adverse consequences on the country’s response to  HIV/AIDS.  We  can  attest  to  this  aspect  as  for  a  very  long  time  our  client  would  not  let  the attorneys  engaged  by  BONELA  challenge  the  constitutionality  of  this  section  from  the  onset  for fear of stigma.


The  Coordinator  of  LEGABIBO  Anna  Chalmers  stated  that  this  current  conviction  is  testimony that despite assurances by the leadership of Former President  Festus  Mogae guaranteeing that there will be no persecution of people on the basis of their sexual orientation, the State has gone against its word. A need thus remains to have this repugnant section removed from our laws.BONELA’s  Policy  and  Legal  Advisor  Phazha  Molebatsi  stated  that  the  client  has  given  the
organisation the mandate to take the matter on appeal against conviction and sentence in line with the  organisation’s  strategic  objective  of  ensuring  access  to  justice  for  vulnerable  and  marginalised populations including men who have sex with men.


BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For more information please contact:
Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +267 75 49 05 99
Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +267 73 58 68 886
Follow BONELA on Twitter on @ bonela_ethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

03.11.16: LETLHABILE STUDENT DENIED TO WRITE AN EXAM ON ACCOUNT OF DRESS CODE

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/ AIDS (BONELA) learnt with utmost dismay that a Form 3 student at Letlhabile Community Junior Secondary School was barred from taking her one of her final exam papers on account of her dress code – she was wearing school trousers instead of a skirt on a day that was designated for skirts. This student was promptly returned home at the school gate on the date of the examination without any hearing.

In light of this, on the 28th of October 2016, BONELA issued a letter of demand against the Head Master of Letlhabile Community Junior Secondary School and the Chief Education Officer in Tonota, calling on them to provide the opportunity for the student in question to sit for her examination as a matter of urgency. Despite several attempts to engage education officials, including the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Basic Education, Grace Muzila, BONELA has not received any form of feedback as to how they intend to rectify this situation.

It is common cause that Botswana is an avid protector of children’s rights. This is evidenced by the fact that we are a signatory to international instruments such as the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). On the national level, Botswana has domesticated these laws in the form of the Children’s Act (2009) which is specifically enacted to “provide and protect the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development…of children.”

Noting this, it is our stance as a human rights organization that the actions of the Head Master of Letlhabile Community Junior School were in direct contravention with the child’s right to education, which is provided for under Section 18 of the Children’s Act.

Additionally, the actions of the Head Master were not ‘in the best interests the child’ which is deemed to be the paramount consideration when it comes to all decisions relating to the child, this being provided for under Section 5 of the Children’s Act. This principle is further supported by Article 3 of the UNCRC, which states that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be consideration.”

We therefore call upon the Permanent Secretary of Education, Grace Muzila, to take action with immediate effect. Failure to do so will result in BONELA taking all necessary steps to protect the child’s right to education.

For more information please contact:

Cindy Kelemi : BONELA Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +267 393 25 16

Ramatoulie Jallow: Legal Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   +267 71 34 08 00

Motshegetsi Setlalekgosi: Programmes Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana | Tel: +267 3932516 | Fax: +267 3932517 | E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Website: www.bonela.org

10.08.2016: BONELA’S REACTION TO THE MAYOR OF FRANCISTOWN’S CALL FOR POLICE BRUTALITY ON SEX WORKERS

The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (#BONELA) is deeply dismayed by the contents of the report found in The Voice newspaper of Friday 5th August 2016 wherein the #Mayor_of_Francistown, Sylvia Muzila is said to have instructed the Police to beat up sex workers.

The Mayor’s call for use of violence against sex workers comes at a time when we least expect it, when leaders around the world are strategizing to combat police brutality on people in violation of their human rights, which should imperatively enjoin the Mayor to be part of this noble effort by leaders who are interested in the promotion of peace in their communities and fostering a human rights oriented police force.

As a leader the mayor should be cautious about her personal views not interfering with her leadership role; which should not be about herself but about the people. Furthermore, the call for violence by the Mayor does not enjoy the support of our aspirations, laws or norms as Batswana. Not only will violence against sex workers violate their basic rights as persons, who in Botswana are mostly women, it will also frustrate the efforts of the government of Botswana to responding to HIV/AIDS.

#BONELA strongly believes that organizing sex workers and keeping them at the centre of the national response to HIV/AIDS will significantly reduce new infections as well as promote access to treatment. The mayor’s call for violence on sex workers therefore poses a serious threat to the efforts of the government of Botswana to improve access to quality HIV/AIDS services as outlined in the Second Botswana National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS and if heeded would bring about a regression in the formation of an enabling legal environment that is key to combating HIV as espoused by the National Strategy for Behaviour Change Interventions and Communications for HIV/AIDS.

#BONELA consequently views the Mayor’s statement as irresponsible and missing the bigger picture of the national response to HIV/AIDS and in light thereof we call upon the Mayor to retract her statement in an effort to improve the quality of lives of her people.


For more information please contact:

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +267 73 58 68 886

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

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