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Lockdown: Police calls for continued law adherence

PINI BOTHOKO
Lockdown: Police calls for continued law adherence
As the country entered into the extension of the lockdown, the police have requested communities to refrain from taking the law into their hands and follow the new Covid-19 regulations.

On Wednesday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced plans to ease lockdown measures meant to stop spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the new arrangement, pink permits will be introduced and they will be valid for two weeks and then followed by green ones until May 21.

From today, May 8, 2020 businesses and schools will be permitted to reopen as long as they adhere to strict government guidelines while non-essential travel remains banned, said Masisi.

Acknowledging the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, the Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s public relations officer, Senior Superintendent Near Bagali said since the beginning of the lockdown, majority of people have been cooperating in adhering to the regulations. He however said the call for greater adherence to the regulations comes following the continuous non-adherence to the regulations by some certain individuals.  “Parliament has passed new regulations and we will make it a point that they are followed because our mandate is to enforce the law. We will make sure that those measures are followed and implemented without fail,” Bagali said.

Bagali also said the message is clear and as the police they will no longer entertain offenders. He stated that the unlawful movement of people was a major problem giving his office headache during lockdown despite the regulations in place.

He further said that when investigating the reasons behind people’s movement his office discovered the sale of home-brewed alcohol in some homesteads.

“The ban of alcohol has resulted in majority of

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people resorting to home-brewed alcohol, something that has been behind the mushrooming of shebeens. Through our patrols, we observed that people were moving up and down and when investigating what could be reasons for the movements, we discovered the illegal sale of home-brewed alcohol in some homesteads. We have made numerous arrests and charged shebeen operators something that has led to a slight reduction in the offence, ” he said.

The police boss said everyone has the power to stop the spread of the virus and unlawful movements of people are currently not an option. He stated that even though there is a slight reduction, there are some individuals who continue to go to the shops without permits.

“If people could change their behaviour for a while they could save lives as lives are lost on daily basis in some countries due to Coronavirus. I am pleading with members of the public to stay home and avoid unnecessary movements. We will continue to charge those who disobey the law because the message is clear,” Bagali said. Meanwhile, Bagali expressed concern about the abuse of drugs, with dagga being the most popular source of intoxication. He added that drug use is on the increase as a total of 121 cases were registered in April as compared to 88 cases in March countrywide.

“It appears that ever since the ban of alcohol majority of people have replaced alcohol with drug use,” Bagali concluded.



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