Botswana lawmakers endorse request for six-month state of emergency

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana’s parliament on Thursday approved a request by President Mokgweetsi Masisi for a six-month state of emergency to allow the country to respond to the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Parliament had convened a two-day special meeting to consider the request by Masisi early this week for an extension of the current 21-day lockdown if the threat posed by coronavirus does not recede.

Following a rigorous debate about the request during which the opposition shot down the proposal, ruling Botswana Democratic Party legislators used their numerical strength to prevail.

Among other regulations, the proposed extended state of emergency seeks to suspend the right of workers to strike and would force all public service or private sector employees to work from home, except those providing essential services.

The regulations also state that where a business is unable to have employees work remotely from home or where a company is unable to pay salaries, they may cease operations but shall not retrench or dismiss an employee during the state of public emergency.

Citizens and non-citizens are not allowed into Botswana during the state of public emergency, according to the proposed regulations.


React to this article