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FULL TEXT: Botswana President arrests journalists and opposition members

by Botswana Presidency
28 Sep 2020 at 15:03hrs | Views
The Botswana Government wishes to draw the attention of the public to a grossly inaccurate and abusive spate of utterances carried by the South African private television station eNCA on 27" September, 2020, apparently featuring an interview
with Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Honourable Dithapelo Koorapetse. In the interview Honourable Koorapetse alleges that the Botswana Government caused the unfair arrest of a number of opposition political activists and journalists for political reasons.

The facts of the matter are as follows:

(i) His Excellency the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi has no role to play in any matter of arrest on criminal charges and prosecution.

(ii) Ms Resego Kgosidintsi, a member of the opposition Botswana Nationa Front (BNF) was detained for questioning by the Botswana Police Service. Investigations are ongoing and she will face possible charges of  Incitement to Violence and Disobedience of the Law contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code. The alleged incitement was published on social media, encouraging violent conduct by members of the community. The words read thus; "Friday everyone must be on the streets, on the roads, outside of their offices, outside of classrooms, with their placards and petrol bombs and protest against the inaction of the BDP-led Government. Buildings will burn, cars will not move, our lives are at risk 24/7. No one must sleep. President Masisi will not sleep". She allegedly published these words on her facebook page. The words are completely unrelated to the fight against gender based violence, as alleged by Honourable Keorapetse.

(iii) In respect of Justice Motlhabane, a member of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), he was arrested, together with two others, and jointly charged for the offence of Use of Offensive Electronic Communication contrary to Section 18 of the Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes Act of 2018. He has since been arraigned before the Broadhurst Magistrate Court and his next date of mention is the 10th, October, 2020.

(iv) Daniel Kenosi, on the other hand, is currently on the Interpol Red Notice of Wanted Persons after fleeing the country. He is wanted by Botswana Police for two charges of Obtaining by False Pretences contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code involving large sums of money obtained from two different people on separate occasions.

(v) The State of Public Emergency was declared through parliamentary consensus following extensive debate in compliance with the Parliamentary Standing Orders and the laws governing Botswana, to specifically prevent and contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parliament is convening this afternoon (28th September, 2020) to consider His Excellency's request for the extension of the State of Public Emergency, as prescribed by the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana.

(vi) No aspect of the State of Public Emergency provisions has been used for any other purpose apart from the objectives for which it was intended.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana is fully committed to the rule of law and upholds all aspects of the constitution as sacrosanct.

Source - Botswana Presidency

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