Police are searching for University of Botswana (UB) students who were part of a ‘chill session’ that took place at the main campus of the country’s largest institution of highest learning early Saturday morning.
The breach comes despite a warning from President Mokgweetsi Masisi when lifting the alcohol ban that Batswana should not flout COVID-19 health protocols that might lead to another prohibition.
Central Police Station commander, Superintendent Mothusi Phadi said they responded to a report from university security, but made no arrests.
According to the report, the students were violating regulations implemented in the campus to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The students had grouped themselves in the university premises having fun, playing music loudly from their cars and disobeying the regulations,” Phadi told The Monitor.
“We received the report from the institution’s security on early Saturday morning at around 2am. There are no arrests as yet because the students dispersed and hid upon the arrival of the police.”
Since Saturday a video with large crowds of students bending their elbows in anti-social distancing behaviour took the nation by storm as it circulated across social media platforms. Most of the students in the video were not wearing masks.
Following the release of the video, the Police have expressed concerns over the students’ behaviour who took to the streets in celebration. The students’ behaviour followed the recent incidents in which liquor outlets violated COVID-19 regulations.
Their non-compliance was strongly condemned by the Ministry of Health and Wellness expressing concern that the move has the potential to reverse the gains made so far in stemming the spread of COVID-19.
Phadi added investigations into the matter were ongoing to locate and charge students who hosted the ‘chill session’ and were part of the alleged party.
However, with the help of the institution’s security, Phadi said they managed to record plate numbers of vehicles that were at the scene to help them with the probe.
“Poor adherence to COVID-19 risks the lives of other people. We have lost lives due to COVID-19 and we will no longer entertain offenders. Investigations into the matter are ongoing to locate and charge all of the students who have violated the regulations,” he said.
He said since the lifting of the alcohol ban they have been battling with imbibers who grouped themselves in front of bars, hosting chill sessions in their homes and open spaces. Phadi also raised concern over people who continue to roam the streets after the 2200hrs curfew movement restriction time.
The Monitor managed to talk to the Student Representative Council (SRC) Minister of Student Affairs, Eric Setswammogo, but was not in a position to talk to the media. Instead, he referred this publication to the SRC president.
However, efforts to reach the UB SRC president, Carter Joseph failed as his phone was off while the vice president Kesaobaka Johannes’ phone rang unanswered.
The UB management could not be reached for comment either.