Mmegi Online :: BNF Accuse Police In Abortive March
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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BNF Accuse Police In Abortive March

The publicity secretary of the Botswana National Front (BNF), Moeti Mohwasa has accused the police of using flimsy reasons to deny the party a permit to march in protest against extra-judicial killings.
By Lekopanye Mooketsi
Correspondent
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BNF Accuse Police In Abortive March








The BNF was supposed to hold the march last Saturday and present a petition to the Office of the President. However, the march was not staged because the police did not issue a permit. Mohwasa said they were sent from pillar to post when they applied for the permit until the request was finally rejected. He expressed displeasure about the police action. "We are disappointed," he said.

He added that the police initially told them that they would only grant a permit if the Office of the President (OP) officers assured them that they would be available on Saturday to receive the petition. He said the OP told the police that there would be no officer available to receive the petition on Saturday. But later, the officials said they would only make themselves available if the police issued a permit.

Mohwasa said when they went  back to the police, they were told it was too late to issue a permit. He said the police claimed that they would not have considerable manpower to cover the march.

However, the BNF official feels that this was just a ploy to deny them the

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permit. He described the attitude of the police as a continuing onslaught on the freedom of association. 

He wondered why a legally registered organisation should be sent from pillar to post when applying for a permit  to hold a march.    "We don't understand how a party can be stripped of the right to march. We are not happy," the disgruntled official said.

Mohwasa stated that they did not need many  police officers for the march. He explained that they only needed one police vehicle to direct  the march. The BNF official said ever since the killing of John Kalafatis by security agents, the government has become defensive. He said this might  have been one of the reasons why they were denied a permit to march. The decision to deny  the BNF a permit has not deterred the party from holding a march. Mohwasa said they are still going to make another  application. 

Efforts to reach the police were futile on Saturday as the officers at the district  headquarters were not duty. Meanwhile, the BNF is planning to address a press conference today about the abortive march.

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