A Gaborone based lawyer, Yul Moncho, has slapped the struggling Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) with a P250,000.00 lawsuit for harassment.
The lawyer was allegedly harassed by security guards at at Kasane International Airport in April 2015.
It is said that Moncho was waiting to board an Air Botswana flight from Kasane to Gaborone when he took a few minutes to smoke a cigarette outside the terminal building which was under renovation.
Security guards were said to have confronted Moncho and told him not to smoke in an undesignated smoking area.
In response, Moncho is said to have told them that there were no “No Smoking” signs and that he was far away from the entry of the terminal building, and was near the scaffolding area.
According to Moncho’s court papers, he argues that as a result of the defendant’s “unlawful and unjustified actions Plaintiff missed his flight and only flew back on the 12th April, 2015, in the process suffering damages for wrongful denial of passage, social stigmatization; humiliation, distress; unjustified arrest and inconvenience in the sum of P250,000.00”.
He says he was held in a detention room in full view of onlookers and passengers in the boarding queue; was arrested and taken away from the public in a marked police van to the police station; was subjected to questioning by police whist under arrest.
He also wants a 10 percent interest per annum from date of judgment to date of payment.
The guard who participated in the arrest of Moncho, Michael Maguzunga, told the Gaborone High Court Justice Chris Gabanagae that Moncho refused to apologise when his colleague, Wamodimo Motlhalawapitse, demanded him to do so.
The Air Botswana flight was delayed, but later left Moncho behind since he was under police custody and being interrogated.
However, he said upon learning that they were dealing with a lawyer, the police advised that the matter be resolved amicably, but it was too late and Moncho was forced to spend three days in Kasane waiting for another flight.
No charges were laid against him.
Moncho said he had done nothing wrong since there were no signs for “No Smoking” and therefore he did not find any reason to apologise to the guards.
Judgment has been reserved.