Botswana Parliament endorse The President’s request for six-month state of emergency

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Botswana’s parliament on Thursday 09 April sat and approved a request by President Mokgweetsi Masisi for a six-month state of emergency to allow the country to respond to the threat posed by the deadly corona virus pandemic.

The Botswana’s president had proposed and requested the power to declare a state of emergency to last for six months. President Masisi said the measure is needed because people are not complying with restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

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Botswana has 13 Covid-19 confirmed casses and 1 death.

The Botswana Parliament which is dominated by ruling Botswana Democratic Party voted for an extension of the current 21-day lockdown if the threat posed by corona virus does not recede.

In a televised media briefing on Tuesday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the state of emergency may not last six months.

“I personaly gave assurance to the leaders of parties that part took in the 2019 election… of my complete commitment to stick to the intention of the constitution and my willingness and desire to uplift the state of emergency the very minute the experts who know how best to manage this pandemic inform that we no longer need those powers to be applied to manage what remains.

“The state of emergency may not need to last six months and I hope it does not because states of emergency are disruptive by their own nature,” he said.

Among other regulations, the proposed extended state of emergency seeks to suspend the right of workers to strike and would force all public service or private sector employees to work from home, except those providing essential services.

The regulations also state that where a business is unable to have employees work remotely from home or where a company is unable to pay salaries, they may cease operations but shall not retrench or dismiss an employee during the state of public emergency.

Citizens and non-citizens are not allowed into Botswana during the state of public emergency, according to the proposed regulations.

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