Remove legislative impediments to media freedom

Today, May 3, marks World Press Freedom Day, a day when journalist take stock of the progress and challenges in their industry.

This year's commemoration comes when Botswana made a slight jump from number 39 to 38 in the World Press Index. When President Masisi ascended to power in 2018, he spoke the language which the media fraternity wanted to hear. For years calls to remove legislative instruments which impede media freedom, went unheeded.

 The Masisi administration promised to reverse any law seen as draconian. It was the sweet music which journalists wanted to hear. Local journalists have been arrested while on duty, for infringing on certain laws, which are regarded as restricting media freedoms, or which inhibit free access to information. Masisi had promised to repel any law that goes against media freedom. He was applauded, but to date, the laws that journalists consider retrogressive and enemy of the fourth estate, still remain. In fact last year, June 18, there was a chilling reminder of how vicious the laws could be when two journalists from the Weekend Post were arrested for common nuisance.

Editor's Comment
Molepolole unrest: Urgent attention on missing person cases

From Jakoba's mysterious disappearance on November 9 to the grim discovery of his remains at Mosinki Lands, a gap in the response mechanisms of the police and village leadership has been laid bare. The community's anger is evident, seen in the attack on Bakang Masole, the man found driving Jakoba's taxi and the main suspect, and the subsequent riot. Residents express discontent, citing a troubling trend of missing persons cases often...

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