Controversial “spy bill” stokes rare public debate on civic surveillance

Pushing back: Journalists led civic society’s resistance to the original legislation PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Pushing back: Journalists led civic society’s resistance to the original legislation PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Government’s bid to introduce a highly contentious “spy bill” and the subsequent watering down of several clauses under pressure from multi-sectoral lobbyists, has brought the debate on civic surveillance into rare public attention.

Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi introduced the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Controlled Investigations) Bill, 2022, to a special sitting of Parliament on a certificate of urgency in late January, explaining that fast-tracking the legislation was needed to adhere to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The FATF, the world’s top supranational organisation on anti-money laundering, lifted its adverse listing of Botswana last October, three years after noting the country had significant structural and legislative deficiencies required to plug the flow of dirty money into and out of its economy.

Editor's Comment
Urgent call: Stop the killing!

The previous week, we had an article about a police officer shooting his wife, and turning the gun on himself, whilst he died, his wife survived and is still in the hospital.Sadly that was not the only article we carried on intimate partner killings. There was the Francistown case, where a young woman allegedly stabbed her ‘former boyfriend’ and many others which were reported throughout the week.As all the reports were coming in, a Botswana...

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