Botswana

Adel Amrouche

Mqondisi Dube

Football Writer, Gaborone

The Botswana Football Association is finalising a deal to sign Adel Amrouche as national team coach.

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Hundreds of vultures poisoned in Botswana

White-backed vulture
Getty Images
White-backed vultures were among those poisoned

More than 500 vultures and two tawny eagles have been poisoned in Botswana after coming into contact with three poached elephant carcasses that were laced with a poisonous chemical, the government there has said in a statement.

The creatures died at a site in the north of the country and the authorities are trying to decontaminate the area.

The statement does not go into details as to why this may have happened, but AFP news agency reports that poachers are known to deliberately target vultures. It says that vultures are used by park rangers to help track illegal poaching, therefore getting rid of the birds means that they are less likely to be found.

The government said that among the 537 vultures killed were:

  • 468 white-backed vultures
  • 28 hooded vultures
  • 17 white-headed vultures
  • 14 lappet-faced vultures
  • 10 cape vultures

It has called on people in the area to report "any suspicious activities".

In May, Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting, citing growing conflict between humans and the animals, which at times destroy crops.

Critics of the ban, imposed in 2014, say the restriction was causing problems to small farmers and to those who previously benefited from hunting.

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Gay rights victory in Botswana

The High Court has decriminalised gay sex
The High Court has decriminalised gay sex. But not all countries in Africa are following this course, as Ferdinand Omondi tells Celia Hatton.
(Picture: Gay activists celebrate outside the Botswana High Court.
Credit: AFP/Getty)

'Loud celebrations in the courtroom'

Botswana becomes the latest country to decriminalise gay sex

A couple kiss at Pride in Durban, South Africa.
AFP
Botswana follows in the footsteps of countries like South Africa (pictured)

Cheering broke out in a High Court courtroom in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, after a ruling was read out decriminalising gay sex, which had been outlawed under the colonial-era penal code and was punishable with up to seven years in prison.

The judges, whose decision was unanimous, said any discrimination against a member of society was discrimination against all

One stated that a democratic nation was one that embraced tolerance, diversity and open mindedness.

The case was brought to court by a student who argued society had changed and homosexuality was more widely accepted.

The ruling in Botswana was closely followed across Africa - where most countries still have laws which make gay sex illegal.

Last month, Kenyan judges upheld the law which criminalises homosexuality.

Angola, Mozambique and the Seychelles have all scrapped anti-homosexuality laws in recent years.

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BreakingBotswana decriminalises gay sex

The High Court in Botswana has ruled that colonial-era laws which criminalise gay sex are unconstitutional.

AP news agency reports that it was a unanimous decision.

It comes a month after Kenya upheld similar laws against a challenge by activists.

Such laws "infringe on basic human dignity," the Botswana-based campaign group Legabibo is quoted by AP as saying.

LGBTQ campaigners hold the rainbow flag aloft
AFP

Botswana's new president 'drunk on power' - Khama

Ian Khama pictured in 2018 before stepping down later that year.
AFP

Botswana's former President Ian Khama has told the BBC that his successor, who he used to see "as a brother", is now "drunk on power". He said:

During the period that he was my vice-president I had nothing at all to complain about. Not the way he supported me and the policies, his loyalty. But as soon as he took office, we just saw this change in character that I never expected."

The fallout between Mr Khama and current President Mokgweetsi Masisi has seen the ex-leader leave the governing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and call on voters not to back it at the next elections in 2019.

Mr Khama has denied speculation that he is involved in a new political party registered in Botswana this week, telling BBC Focus on Africa:

Members of the BDP party who are unhappy have said they want to find a new political home, and are in the process of forming a new party. But for now, I'm not joining any other party."

Mr Khama also took aim at Chinese construction firms wanting to do business in Botswana:

What I remember we saw was always poor workmanship, instances of corruption, bad work ethics... also constantly wanting to have their own people [and] importing everything from China to the exclusion of our own opportunities for our own people to get jobs."

Listen to the interview in full here:

Former Botswana President Ian Khama says incumbent leader is "drunk on power"