Botswana: 'Avoid Leniency in Issuance of Permits'

Letlhakane — Deputy district commissioner in the Boteti Sub-district, Mr Ewetse Selelo, has urged officials issuing permits to avoid being lenient because that could compromise government's aim to contain transmission of COVID-19.

Mr Selelo said this in Motopi, Moremaoto and Khumaga villages during meetings addressed by Boteti COVID-19 team yesterday.

He stated that every Motswana was a farmer and therefore issuance of permits to everyone claiming to be a farmer would lead to an increase of people roaming the streets.

The intention, he said, was to control movement and that every movement should be traced. He stated that permits should be issued for local movement only to avoid transmission of virus from one area to another.

Health-workers, Mr Selelo said, should have a permit for work and a special permit for referral and further advised that an arrangement should be made for those who had appointments to refill medication in Rakops to allow them to collect medication in their locality.

Mr Selelo was responding to Sergeant Israel Bulani of Motopi Police station, who had expressed concern that most of the people applying for permits were those that wanted to go to the cattle-posts and shopping in Maun.

Sgt Bulani stated that people still wanted to go shopping to buy stock for tuck-shops and banking in Maun whilst others who had paid visits to Motopi before lockdown requested permits to return to their villages.

He also complained that residents were still paying visits to their relatives, adding that they arrested three shebeen operators for illegal sale of brews.

Khumaga Primary School head, Mr Leweditswe Mantshonyane, reiterated that most people requesting permits were those going to Rakops due to health reasons.

In response, Senior Superintendent Sarah Gabathusi urged the police to charge for non-compliance.

Boteti Sub-district council chairperson, Mr Molemi Galeragwe, expressed concern that people used cattle posts as a loophole to acquire permits, warning that no one was immune to this virus.

Mr Galeragwe encouraged the residents to sacrifice and adopt a different lifestyle for the sole purpose of containing coronavirus transmission.

The situation, he said did not allow people to keep close relations with their family members as they used to and the virus affected everyone regardless of their position in society.

Source : BOPA

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