Botswana

An indefinite strike by public-sector workers in diamond-rich Botswana is threatening the ruling party’s 45-year grip on power and denting its image as the steward of one of Africa’s success stories. The main public employees’ union said more than 90,000 workers have joined the strike, which has ground public services to a near halt and forced schools, clinics and government offices to operate on skeleton staff. The country’s three largest opposition parties have moved to capitalise on the un...read more

reports on media freedom in Botswana, which it says has been 'steadily eroded' over the last decade. 'The controversial Media Practitioners Act, passed in 2008, calls for all media practitioners to register with the press council, while simultaneously defining a media practitioner as anyone who transmits information. Civil society groups have filed a law suit against the state, but it has yet to have its day in court.'

'The Botswana Caucus for Women in Politics has failed to realise the objectives it was intended for, but we will not give up on it just yet,' says Margaret Nasha. The BCWP is a platform established to enable women from all political parties to converge and support each other in their attempts to make their mark in a male-dominated field. When it was set up 15 years ago, its membership was initially restricted to women in parliament. Nasha, the first woman to serve as Speaker of Parliament in ...read more

Members of the gay community are taking the government to court to challenge the constitutionality of its anti-sodomy laws. In 2005 gays attempted to register their association, the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), with the Registrar of Societies, but their application was turned down in 2007 on the grounds that the republican Constitution does not recognise homosexuals.

Infuriated gays and lesbians of Botswana have fired back at Deputy Speaker of Botswana’s National Assembly Pono Moathlodi, who recently told a delegation on HIV prevention that he would 'never tolerate' gays and lesbians, stating that he (Moatlhodi) must think thoroughly before speaking and evaluate the potential impact his utterances might have in the lives of other people.

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