A Reflection on the Nation in A State of Emergency – The Othered

The first State of Emergency (SOE) in Botswana was declared in 1999 to avoid disruption to general elections planned for October in the same year. This was declared to empower the then President, Festus Mogae, to be able to recall parliament which had been dissolved to pave way for the general elections.

Parliament had to be re-convened to amend the Electoral Act, in order to allow the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to update the voters’ role and allow more potential voters to register for the elections. This State of Emergency was described by many Batswana as a scandal caused by the state machinery because it had overlooked such an important aspect of the electoral process and used a SoE to make the amendment to the law.

The 2020 State of Public Emergency was declared on 30 March 2020, in accordance with section 17 of the Botswana Constitution. Botswana registered its first positive COVID-19 cases in March 2020 - all of which had been imported into the country. By the end of April 2020, the numbers had risen to 22 with 1 fatality and 2 local transmissions, the rest being imported. This prompted the Government of Botswana to put in place measures to contain the virus.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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