Botswana: Issuance of COVID-19 Movement Permits Smooth

mask coronavirus covid-19 pandemic outbreak

Kavimba — Issuing of COVID-19 declaration forms of exceptional movement of persons during state of emergency is said to be moving smoothly even though there have been delays in some of the Chobe Enclave villages.

Villages that form the Chobe Enclave include Muchenje, Mabele, Satau, Kavimba, Kachikau, Satau and Parakarungu.

The main complaint by the residents was that there was congestion where travelling permits were issued.

The other complaint was that the maximum seven days that can be given to an individual was not enough for him/her to cover all the movements they intended to undertake.

Farmers, mostly argued that they spent most of their time at the cattle post and fields and animals such as baboons and buffalos were destroying their crops and given a one day permit does not solve any problem.

One of the farmers, Mr Peter Dambe of Satau said in interview that farmers in the area conduct regular visits to their cattle posts and fields and he suggested that farmers in the Chobe district be given a special dispensation of the whole 28 days of the lockdown in order to attend to their livestock at the cattle post and fields.

The permit issuing officer in Satau, Ms Mambo Molongwane said the issuing of permits was moving at a smooth gear even though there were some teething challenges such as congestion.

She explained that on the first day of the lockdown (April 3) she issued 25 permits whilst on April 4, she issued a total of 26 permits on a pending queue of more than 46 people at the time of going to press.

Ms Molongwane said the other challenge is that she is the only one issuing permits and she is overwhelmed by the number of people seeking the permits.

She said the other challenge is that people demand more days for movement especially farmers but the idea is to restrict movement of people in order to contain the disease.

Kavimba Deputy Chief, Kgosi Josephat Mwezi said residents were adhering to the restrictions since the beginning of the lockdown.

Kgosi Mwezi said the police continued to sensitise people through a public address system on the restriction measures and appealed to residents to adhere to the measures.

He appealed to parents to play their role and stop their children from moving from one place to another to avoid contracting the virus.

Kgosi Mwezi further stated that the local committee responsible for the Coronavirus control in his village had agreed that permits would be issued from 0800hrs to 1200hrs during weekends and weekdays.

However, he complained that some people acquired permits to avoid staying at home adding that this defeated government's efforts to contain the disease.

Meanwhile, the Station Commander of Kachikau police station, Superintendent Situme Budani applauded the residents of these village to have been much cooperative since the lockdown on April 2 midnight.

He explained that the police had not registered any single case and appealed to the residents to continue adhering to the restriction to avoid possible outbreak in the area.

Superintendent Budani said the police would continue to sensitize residents of the five villages on the restrictions during the lockdown adding that the police continue to intensify their patrols day and night with members of the Botswana Defence Force.

He explained that they had to intensify the patrols because the villages were near the Chobe River which forms part of the border with Namibia, adding that Namibia had also registered some cases of coronavirus.

Superintendent Budani said there had been illegal movements by both the people of Namibia and Batswana between the border and that there was a possibility that such movement could lead to the spread of the disease between the two countries.

Source : BOPA

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