Detention and harassment of journalists investigating the construction of the president’s holiday home
Botswana security agents on Wednesday afternoon briefly detained and threatened to kill three journalists from INK Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit journalism outlet based in Botswana. The detention which occurred in the central part of Botswana appears to be an effort to intimidate and harass independent media in a country lauded as the shining example of democracy in Africa. Seven armed plain clothes security agents on quad bikes and SUVs barred the journalists near Mosu village, some 600kms north eastern Gaborone and warned them never to “set foot” near President Ian Khama’s private compound or risk death.
Too many mines, too little to show for them – that is Botswana’s problem. Diamonds, copper, nickel – all have been hard hit by falling world resource prices, and for the first time since independence, the country historically seen as one of Africa’s success stories is confronting real economic decline. By Joel Konopo for INK.
What happened in Polokwane, may as well as stay in Polokwane. A year after the Polokwane secret détente, INK Centre for Investigative Journalism reporter NTIBINYANE NTIBINYANE pieces together an outing that brought together the four leaders Botswana’s main opposition parties
Botswana has slipped to the 35th place on Transparency International’s 2016 corruption perception index as Somalia languished at the bottom of the list of 176 nations for the six straight year.
International credit rating firm, Standard & Poor (S&P) warned this month that Botswana faces a “deteriorating outlook” in 2017, a move that suggests the dreaded downgrade from A-/A-2 sovereign credit rating could be on the horizon.
It is nice to visit Francistown again. I am pleased to see the New Directions program coming here for the first time. This is certainly a wise choice, given the leading role this city continues to play in the HIV response for the northern region of Botswana.
INK Centre collaborated with Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism to hold a one-day workshop on “How to access public information on the Internet” in August 2016. The workshop attracted 18 journalists from radio and print. Amabhungane investigative journalists drilled local journalists on techniques of using internet to scrap publicly available data for investigative journalism. INK said it will continue to impart investigative journalism knowledge and skills on Botswana journalists.
An audio recording leaked to the Botswana Gazette newspaper has turned a harsh light on the financial problems of a major Southern African health education institution, Boitekanelo College in Gaborone.
“Outsiders have a general perception of Botswana as a free, open, and democratic country. But there has been noticeable regress in freedom of speech and expression under President Ian Khama,” INK Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Managing Partner Joel Konopo tells Pen America.
Zimbabwean consumers are boycotting to buy groceries in giant retail supermarkets, Choppies in protest of Vice President Phekezela Mphoko’s continued stay in a leafy hotel at the expense of the taxpayers. Choppies is a Botswana multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Gaborone.