7 March 2018

Botswana - Police Clampdown Over Intelligence Report


A break-in at the INK Centre for investigative Journalism in Gaborone at the weekend has raised concerns among journalists that official intolerance towards the independent media is growing in Botswana. By KAGO KOMANE.

The break-in came two days after plain-clothes police officers instructed the centre's managing partner, Joel Konopo, to report to the assistant police commissioner, Mokuedi Mpathi, next week in connection with an alleged leaked intelligence report.

The Tholwana Borethe report, leaked to a wide range of news organisations in July last year, claimed that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services is running an operation intended to disrupt the opposition ahead of the 2019 election. Konopo said during the break-in the intruders broke open a steel filing cabinet containing valuable items including laptops, but took none of them.

He said it had not yet been established if any documents were missing.

"We believe this is part of a growing pattern of official harassment of independent media in Botswana by members of security agencies.

"As private media, we want government to recognise our important role. The use of the Alarming Publications Act and sedition laws are official barriers created to discourage independent journalism," he said.

Mpathi summoned the editors...


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