Botswana commits to Human Rights

The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a member of the African Liberal Network (ALN) and subsequently Liberal International, is thrilled by the Republic of Botswana High Court judgement in which today, a bench of three judges repealed Sections 164 (a) (c), 165 of the Penal Code. The High Court found the repealed sections, which were prohibiting intercourse and ultimately love and affection amongst persons of the LGBTiQA++ community, to be contrary to the constitution of the land, and as such being discriminatory.

This High Court judgement is not only a historical and landmark ruling to Botswana, but a guidance and advisory to the continent and the whole world, especially those countries which continue to criminalise the freedoms of LGBTiQA++ persons. This judgment should also be a reminder that work places, employers, schools, families, social hubs and public places should respect human rights.

Whatever justification was used to degrade the dignity and humanity of fellow citizens, was in itself an illogical thought process.

In response to the judgement, BMD National Spokesperson & Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rasina Winfred Rasina had this to say:

“We at the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), together with our sister parties at the African Liberal Network and global Liberal International family, shall continue to speak against the criminalisation of those liberal values that we believe are essential to human harmony. We shall continue to speak against discriminatory laws.

Here in Botswana, we thank and congratulate LEGABIBO, BONELA, Human Rights lawyers, donors and activists who worked tirelessly to ensure that the outcome of the matter is resounding, liberal and humane”.

Honorable Renee Nyakerario Mayaka

Honorable Irene Nyakerario Mayaka

A mother, a politician, and a nominated member of Nyamira County Assembly delegated by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), with specific roles in providing oversight and legislation at the County Assembly on behalf of the citizens of Nyamira County. I am an Accountant and Public Secretary by Profession, with a Bachelor of Commerce (finance), CPA (K) – certified public accountant and CPS (K) – certified public secretary. Previously a Banker with 11years experience in client experience, service quality and portfolio management.

I form part of the membership and recruitment committee of ODM and am a founder member of the lobby group, Daughters of Raila (in charge of resource mobilization), instrumental in the 2017 presidential campaign. I am currently focusing on women in political leadership preparations, as the Daughters of Raila intend to assist our members whom are contesting for political leadership in the August 2022 General Election.

My journey to being sworn in as a nominated member of County Assembly has been one with hurdles and lessons. ODM and all other political parties forward a list of nominees to the Election Body for Kenya (IEBC), thereafter all party nominees are communicated by IEBC in the official gazette.

My name featured in the ODM nomination list published in our local Daily Newspapers on 21 July 2017 under the gender top-up list for ODM. When the official IEBC gazette was published on 28 August 2017, my name was excluded from the list of nominees and a new name, which was not part of the initial list, was inserted in its place. Investigations conducted by ODM and the IEBC revealed that the new name was inserted there fraudulently. There were also no supporting documents which accompanied the new name inserted. The investigation also revealed that fraudulent court order papers, were seemingly included, in support of the new name insertion.

To correct this anomaly, IEBC released a revised official gazette notice on 8 September 2017, deleting the name Damaris Muoni and rightfully included my name. On the day I was meant to be sworn in to the County Assembly, a court order barring me from being sworn in was presented. The case was heard by the Magistrate Court of Nyamira County on the 28 February 2018, and thereafter immediately dismissed, with a court order advising that I be sworn in.

An Appeal to the High court of Nyamira was initiated and again the matter was dismissed on the 19 July 2018.  The High Court ruling was responded to with an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which also dismissed the matter on 14 February 2019 for lack of jurisdiction.

Through a different petitioner, a new attempt was initiated, this time questioning the IEBC official gazette, this too was discovered to be fraudulent and declared “fake”. Now that the Election Petition timeline has ceased, IEBC communicated a letter to the Orange Democratic Movement, copying in the Speaker of Nyamira County Assembly to swear me in as per the gazette notice dated 8 September 2017 as the Commission confirmed that the gazette was indeed in order and valid.

I look forward to being officially sworn into office on Tuesday 23 April 2019, so that I can officially assume office to serve the citizens of my County. I am also pursuing an elective position in the 2022 General Election of Kenya.

I am also participating as a contestant in the Ms President Academy (a program that seeks to encourage more women to take on political Leadership in the Kenya) that features every Wednesday on one of Kenya’s local channels KTN HOME from 20:00 – 21:00. As a contestant, I was one of 1 000 applicants and am delighted for all the support that has delivered me to the top 18 remaining contestants.

My political party ODM, is a member of the Africa Liberal Network, the largest political network of liberal political parties, which is also a regional organization affiliated with Liberal International. Amongst 100 applications received by the network’s Women Leadership Programme (WLP), I am one of the 14 participants who have been selected from various applicants from across Africa. The programme is managed and monitored by the Africa Liberal Network, the Liberal Democrats UK, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Democracy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Liberal International – together with other Africa continental and global organisations and counterparts.

As part of my community work, I focus on mentoring young men and women with teenage pregnancy prevention, financial literacy, responsible living and etiquette. I aim to create a centre of excellency in my county to work with citizens and civil society organisations in ensuring a conducing environment for programmes of development.

My note of self motivation and inspiration is that the glass is always half full, never half empty. I’m a leader who believes in being part of the core-team that is driving and championing change. I am capable and ready to serve.

 

#ALNwomen

ALN Women’s Leadership Programme – Call for Applications

The Africa Liberal Network is excited to announce the launch of its new Women’s Leadership Programme, in partnership with the UK Liberal Democrats and Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The programme, open to women politicians from all ALN member parties, will provide participants with additional knowledge, skills and tailored support to advance as candidates and into leadership roles.

Applications for the 2019 programme are now open  and we warmly invite aspiring women leaders from across the Africa Liberal Network to apply.

The programme, designed for candidates intending to run for local or general elections in 2019, 2020 or 2021, will include three two-day training workshops spread out over 9 months. The first will take place in Marrakech, Morocco from 6th-7th March, ahead of the ALN General Assembly. The programme will also include a mentoring scheme whereby participants will be paired with an experienced political actor to provide tailored advice and support. The training will cover a range of topics, from campaigning and voter contact models to social media, fundraising and much more, helping equip participants with the tools they need to successfully contest party nominations and elected positions.

For more information about this important opportunity, including training dates, curriculum and applicant eligibility, please read the attached programme brochure.

To apply, please complete the attached application form and return to adele.poskitt@parliament.uk. The deadline for applications is 17th February 2019.

Application Form English

Brochure English

Application Form French

Brochure French

 

 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the programme or application process.

NOW OPEN: ALN Executive Committee Nominations

 

The nominations for the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) Executive Committee are now open as of 1 February 2019 and will be closing on 15 February 2019 at 15:00 GMT. All ALN member parties to please check their e-mails for further details.

ALN urges al-Bashir government to respect the rights of citizens and media freedom

by Stevens Mokgalapa MP – ALN President

 

Date: 30 January 2019

Release: Immediate

 

The Africa Liberal Network respects the credibility of the reports from Sudan and as such are deeply worried about the economic circumstances perpetuated by al-Bashir’s government. Citizen’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, regardless of their political affiliations are the cornerstone of every responsible government and are a commitment of Sudan to its people, according to their own International treaty.

Protests in Sudan began on December 19 after the government tripled the price of bread. That ire has now spilt onto the streets, with protesters chanting their main slogan: “freedom, peace, justice!”

The protests, called for by professional and opposition groups, are part of a wave of unrest over a failing economy that has transformed into demands for the resignation of the autocratic al-Bashir who has run the country for nearly 30 years but brought little improvement to his people. The Sudanese Professionals Association also pushed for protests in various states and camps for internally displaced people, “to show our people’s rejection of the dictator”, the group said in a statement.

al-Bashir visited Kadugli a day after protest movements called for demonstrations in the three states, following weeks of anti-government rallies in other parts of Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday 28 January extended ceasefires in two conflict-hit states, official media reported, where protest leaders have pushed for anti-government rallies. The president extended the ceasefires for South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the official SUNA news agency reported, while no announcement was made for Darfur. This information has also been verified by our member party in Sudan, confirming the violence and arrest of political activists and opposition leaders.

Officials say 30 people have died in protest-related violence since the demonstrations began, while rights groups say more than 40 people have been killed.

al-Bashir has been charged by the Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudanese state security has in the meantime arrested 6 journalists covering protest marches calling on President Omar al-Bashir to resign.

The arrest by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) came after al-Bashir’s meeting with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, where al-Bashir blamed the media for allegedly exaggerating the size of the protest marches.

al-Bashir beleaguered government has also revoked the credentials of at least 6 journalists working for international news outlets since the protests began.

The government crackdown has been harsh over the past month, with rights advocates reporting the use of excessive force by police and Amnesty International accusing security forces of firing tear gas and live ammunition in and around hospitals. At least 40 people have been killed in the clashes, according to rights groups, but the government has acknowledged only 24 deaths.

We urge al-Bashir’s government to respect the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, to release all journalists, political opposition leaders, activists, and any other protestors arbitrarily detained. We also call on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council to intervene and ensure an independent and transparent investigation into the deaths of all protesters.

As the Africa Liberal Network we support our local member party Sudan Liberal Party and commends its efforts towards fighting for individual rights, democracy & liberal values.

 

 

Stevens Mokgalapa MP
President
, Africa Liberal Network