Shame of the honourables

On Tuesday, MPs passed the Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill, despite admitting that they did not understand its provisions! On the basis of that statement alone, the Honourable MPs need to hang their heads in shame.

Only five MPs briefly debated the bill. This lot either expressed ignorance on what the bill is about or sought to be enlightened about it at some obscure point in future. And yet they still passed it into law!  One legislator was quoted as saying the average MP would have difficulty understanding the issues in the bill. While he did not disagree with the minister moving the bill, he was constrained from making a meaningful contribution to the debate.  For the record, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill Number 25 of 2013 was meant to provide legal recognition of already existing electronic transactions which last year were measured at P73 billion, from one avenue alone.

Essentially, the law gives legislative support for transactions such as Electronic Fund Transfers, which have become the main settlement system for government, corporates and individuals in the paperless financial era. Think swiping and bank transfers.  Through the law, electronic information is given the same evidentiary weight as written information, which is essential for certain legal processes and for the support of commercial practices. More critically for Batswana, the law provides for consumer protection, online marketing and the liability of service providers, together with provisos such as offences, penalties and others.

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Your vote matters

This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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