Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Bubulo West Legislator, Tonny Kipoi Nsubuga who is locked up in Botswana has asked not to be extradited to Uganda for fear of persecution.
He was picked by Botswana Police Service from Tlokweng on October 15th, 2020 for illegal entry in the country and is in custody at Urban Police Station in Gaborone.
Now, through his lawyers, Kipoi has asked not to be extradited to Uganda for fear of persecution. He has instead asked to be extradited to South Africa where he is also Citizen.
In his October 19th, 2020 affidavit to the High Court of Botswana, Kipoi says that at the time of his arrest, he hadn’t been charged with the commission of any offence in Botswana.
He says he was charged with treason in Uganda around 2010, which charges promoted him to leave the country for fear of his life and eventually settled in South Africa where he attained citizenship.
“Since my relocation into South Africa, I have been able to visit Botswana and conduct business in the country occasionally. I have formed strong bonds in Botswana. I have children here who I am taking care of and further I am conducting businesses in the country,” reads the affidavit.
Kipoi also argues that he legally entered Botswana on March 19th, 2020 through the border and didn’t experience any problems, arguing that his stay in Botswana is lawful.
He explains that after entering the country, there was a lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it difficult to travel back to South Africa because of border restrictions.
According to Kipoi, he accordingly applied for an extension of his stay. He, however, says that should the court find him guilty of overstaying his visit, he should be returned to South Africa and not Uganda.
“I stand to face political persecution in Uganda as the regime in the said country is intent on subjecting me to malicious prosecution for political offences. I left Uganda under a dark cloud after I was charged, amongst other things, with treason and other politically induced offences. The regime in the said country is notorious of arbitrary arrests and detention in military camps of political opponents,” he argued.
Adding that “My right to life and other freedoms face grave danger at the hands of the regime. The offence of treason carries a death penalty in Uganda. If I am repatriated to the said country, the possibility is that I may eventually face the sentence although I have been arbitrarily charged.”
Kipoi also says that Uganda’s human rights record is debilitating and that political opponents face unfair and arbitrary arrests and prosecutions regularly.
“There is no guarantee that if I am handed over to the said country, my human rights especially the right to be granted a fair trial will be respected as previously I was subjected to an arbitrary process where I ended up in military custody. I am a citizen of South Africa, and I entered Botswana from the said country and that is where I am now resident,” he said.
Kipoi vanished from Uganda shortly after he was acquitted of treason charges by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF General Court-martial.