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Police charge two for violating coronavirus measures

Police enforcing Covid19 measures PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
FRANCISTOWN: Police in Francistown have said that two people will appear in court soon after they contravened measures to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Superintendent Lebalang Maniki of Francistown Central police station said that early this week his office arrested two people, a man and woman selling alcohol illegally. He said that the woman was arrested at Area A location selling alcohol from a business premises that is not designated to sell alcohol.

In the second case, the man residing at Donga location, was caught red handed selling alcohol from his home without a trading licence.

“They are currently on a holding charge, but we have referred their matter to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP will advice us on the precise charge that they will face in relation to the matter. They will inevitably appear in court soon,” Maniki said.

“Contravening an instrument issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness that was brought in as a measure to counter the spread of the coronavirus is a serious offence. That is why we have referred the matter to the DPP to advise us on a suitable charge the suspect will face.”

Maniki said that his office was generally impressed with the level of compliance, most notably amongst businesses in the city. “Almost all the businesses we have visited have embraced key initiatives meant to lessen the spread of the virus,” he said.

Maniki also made a clarion call to parents in the city to closely monitor the movements of their children.

Learners in the city have appeared not to obey the rules meant to deal with the deadly Coronavirus such as social distancing. There have been widespread gatherings among learners in various key areas in the city such as malls. Maniki said in most instances they have been advising them to disband and desist from such behaviour.

In an interview earlier, Francistown mayor Godisang Radisgo also expressed worry about learners who do not stay at home following the recent closure of schools.

According to the mayor, he has

observed that even though it was expected that most learners would be home, studying or catching up with their schoolwork since government took the decision to indefinitely close all learning institutions in the country as a preventative measure to control the coronavirus, some students in the city are not using this period of the temporary closure of schools wisely.

Instead, Radisigo said, the learners are now a common feature around the city’s busy places-shopping malls and bus and taxi rank, where they waste valuable time instead of studying.

Radisigo expressed concern that places such as shopping malls and bus and taxi rank are frequented by people from various places across Botswana and neighbouring countries.

This situation, Radisigo explained, may expose the learners to the virus in the event that they come into contact with people who are infected by the virus.

“The government took a decision to close these schools for a very good cause. But if parents don’t monitor the movements of their children, it would defeat the very same purpose for which the schools were closed. I therefore, plead with parents and the guardians of these children to make sure that their children go to busy places in the city for reasonable purposes although I am cognisant of the fact that it is difficult for parents to always monitor the movements of their children because of various reasons,” said the worried mayor.

“I have also observed that some of these children are using this period to engage in anti-social activities like drinking alcohol and taking drugs. So I call upon all parents in the city to take good care of their children and advise them properly in order to mould them into responsible people,” he said.

He added that from his observations, he has discovered that most of these children who frequent these busy places are junior and secondary school learners.




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