A Reflection on the Nation in A State of Emergency – An observer’s perspective

Botswana registered its first positive COVID-19 cases in March 2020, all of which had been imported. Almost immediately thereafter, a State of Emergency was declared on March 30, 2020 in accordance with section 17 of the Constitution.

By end of April 2020, the numbers had risen to 22 with one fatality and two local transmissions, the rest being imported. This prompted government to put measures in place to contain the virus.

These measures, the SoE and nationwide lockdown came into effect in response to the increasing cases. Upon the introduction of the responses to the pandemic, it immediately became apparent that there would be need for support to human rights defenders in the country, as well as the protection of vulnerable groups in the country, in the context of the pandemic and beyond. This inevitably saw an emergence of a new cohort of vulnerable people and communities in the country. Along with this was an added layer of vulnerability for those populations already experiencing vulnerability in the country.

Editor's Comment
Bravo police for prompt action

It is also hurting that whilst we all know that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) is charged functionally with the duties to investigate all forms of crime, some locals have resorted to taking the law into their own hands. It is very wrong to do that. There is also a possibility that one may wrongfully take the life of a person in the process, unless it is a justifiable case of self-defence. Recently, in the city of Francistown, some locals found...

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