Botswana’s President yet again seeks to extend State of Public Emergency by six months

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Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana's president, speaks during an interview in Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday, May 14, 2018. Botswana is the worlds biggest diamond producer after Russia, and most of its gems are mined by Debswana, a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Botswana’s President Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi has yet again submitted a request to extend the country’s State of Public Emergency to parliament by six months, this is in accordance with Section 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, from 1st April to 30th September 2021.

During the same period, a curfew will be in place from 8pm to 4am. The Government may impose localized lockdowns to mitigate the rapid spread of the disease.

Masisi highlighted some of the challenges experienced including the emergence of COVID-19 variants which remain a grave concern for Botswana.

Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana’s president, speaks during an interview in Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday, May 14, 2018. Botswana is the worlds biggest diamond producer after Russia, and most of its gems are mined by Debswana, a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Another challenge is the insufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses in Botswana. Further, there are no approved vaccines for all persons under the age of 16 years yet.

Therefore, this will delay the timely vaccination of all our people.” The President said.

Masisi however said that the State of Public Emergency issued thus far has given him the power to lockdown the whole country and impose curfews which have controlled the spread of coronavirus by limiting the movement of persons during the lockdown and curfew.

The State of Public Emergency was first declared in Botswana from 2nd April 2020 and lasted for a period of six months. It has since continued to date.

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