Local NGO hails anti-tobacco legal fund

An NGO that seeks to control and reduce tobacco use in Botswana, has applauded the introduction of an Anti-Tobacco Trade Litigation Fund by international billionaire philanthropists, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates.

Interim executive director of Anti-Tobacco Network (ATN), Dr Bontle Mbongwe said the launch of the joint fund last week is timely because Botswana is about to complete the formulation of a comprehensive law that is compliant with the provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The fund is meant to combat the tobacco industry’s use of international trade agreements to threaten and prevent countries from passing strong tobacco-control laws. “The initiative couldn’t have come at a better time as the tobacco industry is capitalising on international trade agreements to slow health gains made by countries,” Mbongwe said. She stated that when Botswana introduced the 30 percent tobacco levy in line with the provisions of the FCTC, it was publicly condemned by the South African-based Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA). She said the company claimed that “the levy goes against the spirit of the SACU agreement as it eradicates trade harmonisation and hampers the free flow of goods within the SACU community”.

Editor's Comment
Bravo police for prompt action

It is also hurting that whilst we all know that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) is charged functionally with the duties to investigate all forms of crime, some locals have resorted to taking the law into their own hands. It is very wrong to do that. There is also a possibility that one may wrongfully take the life of a person in the process, unless it is a justifiable case of self-defence. Recently, in the city of Francistown, some locals found...

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