Botswana: Saleshando Objects to Masisi Request

Gaborone — Leader of Opposition (LOO) in Parliament, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, has objected to President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi's request for a six months state of public emergency.

Responding to President Masisi's address in Parliament today, Mr Saleshando said the Public Health Act was still relevant and could be used to contain spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Public Health Act was empowered enough to put in place initial measures to curb the spread and transmission of COVID-19 through social distancing.

Mr Saleshando indicated that government should rather amend the Public Health Act to make it in line with strict COVID-19 preventative protocols instead of giving the President power to single-handedly rule the nation without the input of other arms of government.

He said the six months of state of emergency could be a breading space of corruption due to the nonexistence of checks and balances measures to hold the President accountable.

Mr Saleshando, who is also the MP for Maun West, argued that there was no guarantee that the President would within the proposed six months, solely protect Batswana against the pandemic .

"It is worth noting that Batswana have lost faith in the current government due to the corruption scandals associated with it, hence granting the President six months to rule without accountability would promote further corruption acts," he said.

He therefore pleaded with the President to amend the proposal to only 28 days of state of emergency rather than six months.

Furthermore, Mr Saleshando applauded frontline staff for their selfless and dedicated services to the nation.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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