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No Alcohol Sale, Social Distancing Remain A Challenge

PINI BOTHOKO
No Alcohol Sale, Social Distancing Remain A Challenge PIC. PHATSIMO KAPENG
Despite government’s directive to stop the sale of alcohol, some people continue to defy the instruction. Police have expressed concern over continuous sale of alcohol at some bars and homes.

Acting to safeguard public health, last week Wednesday the government moved swiftly to close the sale of alcohol until further notice.

A week ago the government had also issued a directive to close bars and reduced the number of public gatherings from the initial 100 to 10 people in response to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic.

It is the first time ever in the history of Botswana that the government stripped away the most basic of freedoms of its citizens, something that seems to be a difficult thing to come to grips with for some. Besides the alcohol sale, citizens are also not allowed to go to church and socialise without hindrance.

Reached for an interview, the police expressed great concern over the poor adherence to government’s directive as well as corona preventative measures by some members of the public.

The Botswana Police Service’s public relations officer, Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube said the directive appears to be torturous to some people who are still resistant to adherence.

“Some Batswana are failing to adhere to government’s directives and coronavirus preventative measures and when the police enforce the law it appears as torture to them,” Motube said.

“The message is loud and clear, we are not out to punish anyone but to make sure the government’s directives are followed.”

Motube added it was a busy weekend for the police as they were all out countrywide to make sure that there was

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no sale of alcohol.

He revealed that they have arrested and charged 10 people for selling alcohol in violation of the government’s directive and coronavirus preventative measures.

He said on Friday, a 59-year-old man of Mokgobelele ward at Letlhakane was arrested and charged P1,000 for operating a liquor restaurant beyond the speculated times.

He further stated that a 43-year-old woman, who owns a bottle store at Hatsalatladi village was also arrested and charged P1,000 for a similar offence.

“Two women aged 26 and 39 of Maruapula location in Gaborone were arrested and paid a fine of P1,000 each for selling alcohol without a trading licence. Another duo, a 42-year-old woman and 44-year-old were arrested and fined P500 for a similar offence at African Mall,” Motube said.

“At Masunga a 35-year-old man also paid a fine of P500 for selling alcohol without a trading licence. A 29-year-old man of Molepolole was also charged P500 for operating a bar after the government’s directive of closure of all bars.”

Still addressing the matter, Motube said adherence remains a challenge amongst some people, social and cultural groupings refusing to cooperate. He stated that as promised the police would continue to enforce the law in making sure government’s directive is abided.

He said the police have learnt that there are some people who grouped themselves and went to drink alcohol at the bush over the weekend. Motube said some are reported to be operating illegal shebeens in their homesteads.

 



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