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Botswana Has Officially Decriminalized Homosexuality

The High Court Judges rightfully asked, "What compelling public interest is there necessitating such a law? There is no victim."

Botswana's High Court has officially decriminalized homosexuality in the Southern African country. According to the BBC, after hearing the case of a student who appeared in court along with LGBT advocacy group LEGABIBO, Sections 164 and 167 of the country's Penal Code have been found to be unconstitutional.


The LGBT community and its allies have been rallying for the repeal of several sections in the Penal Codes of various African countries. Just last month, Kenya's High court made the disappointing decision to keep Section 162 of its Penal Code and uphold the criminal status of homosexuality.

Whilst these laws do not explicitly criminalize homosexuality itself, they do outlaw any acts of sexual intimacy between same-sex individuals which effectively amounts to the criminalization of homosexuality as a whole. Under Botswana's now past law, a law that's been in place since 1965, a person could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature".

After a postponement of the judgement in March this year, today, Judges Tafa, Leburu and Dube came to the unanimous decision to do away with Sections 164 and 167. They said that, "Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It's an important attribute of one's personality. All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression." Judge Leburu also added that, "Public opinion in cases like this is relevant but not decisive. This is about fundamental rights more than the public's view."

This is a just and deserved victory for the LGBT community. Furthermore, it also represents the active dismantling of colonial-era laws which really have no place in any African country.

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Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Passes Away

The former Egyptian president, who was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring Uprising, was aged 91.

Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak passed away yesterday according to reports by the BBC.

The former statesman's death comes barely a year after his successor and Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, suffered a fatal heart attack.

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Photo by Issue Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Togolese President Wins Re-election to Secure Fourth Term in Office

President Faure Gnassingbé prepares for a fourth term in office following an election wrought with fraud allegations.

Togo's electoral commission has just released the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election.

President Faure Gnassingbé reportedly secured 72 percent of the vote while his main opposition and former Prime Minister Agbeyome Kodjo who straddled behind with just 18 percent of the vote, according to Aljazeera.

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The Gorillaz Enlist Fatoumata Diawara for New Track 'Désolé

A stunning collaboration that we didn't even know we needed.

The Gorillaz enlist none other than Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for their latest single "Désolé," the second single from the hit-making British band's Song Machine installation project.

"Making Désolé with Fatou was a real moment for me, you know," the band's drummer Russel Hobbs is quoted as saying in a statement via Pitchfork. Désole translates to "sorry" in French, but despite it's apologetic title, the song is a laid-back groove, elevated by vocals from lead singer Damon Albarn and Diawara, who sings in English, French and Bambara.

"She's an African Queen," Russel adds. "This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life. What can I say about Désolé? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that's not true.... Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips."

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Diamond Platnumz and Tanasha in "Gere" (Youtube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz x Tanasha, Sauti Sol, Rayvanny, Sheebah, Victoria Kimani and more.

February has been dominated by familiar voices in East African music.

Here are our picks of the best East African songs of the month featuring Diamond Platnumz, Sheebah, Rayvanny and more.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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