Botswana-coronavirus - criminalising

Botswana introduces sweeping measures to deal with COVID-19

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana has moved swiftly to introduce a number of measures and regulations aimed at avoiding the spread of the coronavirus in the southern African nation.

Some of the  regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus relate to a  28-day lockdown, spreading of false information, closing of bars as well  as gathering of more than 50 people among others and came into force  following a declaration of state of emergency by President Mokgweetsi  Masisi. 

In an extraordinary notice published in  the government Gazette, Botswana states that where a law enforcement  officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person is in violation of these Regulations, he may stop, detain, question and arrest such person and confiscate any vehicle being used by that person, if he considers it necessary so to do.

"Any person who assaults, obstructs, hinders or resists or uses any threatening or abusive language or aids or incites any other person to assault, obstruct, hinder or resist any law enforcement officer in the execution of his duty under this regulation(state of emergency) , commits an offence," reads the notice in the extraordinary Gazette. 

It  further states that  any person who relays any information to the  public about COVID-19 from a source other than the Director of Health  Services, and the WHO commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding USD 10 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

"  A person who intentionally exposes another person to COVID-19 commits  an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding USD 10 000 or to  imprisonment prisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to  both," reads the notice. 

It further states that  aperson who publishes any statement, through any medium, including  social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about  —COVID-19, COVID-19 infection status of any person or any measure taken  by the Government to address COVID-19, commits an offence and is liable  to a fine not exceeding USD 10 000 or to imprisonment for a term not  exceeding five years, or to both.



KO/abj/APA

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