The glitter of Botswana’s “shining example of democracy” is fading as the country of 2.3 million people slowly slides towards authoritarianism.
A leaked document in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism shows that some officers are deeply concerned about possible escalation in poaching if Botswana Defence Force (BDF) troops deployed in anti-poaching are withdrawn from national parks in the Okavango Delta and transferred to support Covid-19 restrictions.
Botswana is placing its entire cabinet and members of parliament in quarantine after a health worker screening lawmakers for coronavirus was found to be infected with Covid-19.
Parliament is expected to vote in a crucial decision on whether to extend President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s emergency powers to last for a period of six months.
Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, placing the country on lockdown for 28 days from April 2.
Botswana’s decentralized authority, poor health care and skimpy safety-net will all make the coronavirus response harder to deal with. The uncertainty is high, according to health officials. KAGO KOMANE reports.
A furious row has erupted at the cash-strapped University of Botswana over the vice -chancellor, Professor David Norris, who is accused of purging staff “who differ with him” and riding roughshod over tender procedures.
Earnest, highly educated, elitist and remote, President Mokgweetsi Masisi lacks the charisma of Botswana’s former president Ian Khama.But unless the country’s fragmented opposition launches a spirited campaign, he could well increase the ruling party Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) vote in next year’s general election.