Business & Finance

Botswana: Pres Masisi’s safety under threat – top security official

GABORONE, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is under constant threat and security forces have taken measures to ensure his safety, a senior intelligence official said.

Recently, the president had to abandon a trip to Mozambique and return mid-air after Botswanan security forces foiled some suspected attacks on the presidential Jet, Botswana's Director of Intelligence and Security Peter Magosi told a press conference.

The local media reported in the past week that Masisi made a U-turn mid-air on a trip to Mozambique, where the president was supposed to address the 12th U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Maputo, capital of Mozambique.

Responding to questions from the media, Magosi confirmed that indeed the president had to abandon a trip to Mozambique on June 18 after being advised that it was not safe for him to proceed with the journey.

Magosi did not reveal much on the details of the incident but said the threat was made by some non-state actors.

Masisi succeeded Ian Khama as Botswana's president in April 2018 and is expected to lead the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in the general elections later this year.

Meanwhile, the government said it would appeal the ruling of a landmark case that decriminalized same-sex relations through the country's attorney general.

Barely a month after the ruling that drew international attention and had Botswana lauded by many human rights organizations, Botswana's Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe said he would appeal the case at the country's Court of Appeal (CoA).

Keetshabe said in a statement that he had read the 132-page-long judgement and thought the high court of Botswana erred in arriving at its conclusion.

The landmark case between Letsweletse Motshidiemang and the attorney general was concluded at the high court on June 11 with a panel of three judges who unanimously ruled in favour of decriminalizing homosexuality.

Motshidiemang, a local who is gay, was challenging some sections of the country's penal code that criminalized same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults, saying they are in contradiction with a section of the country's constitution that talks about liberty, privacy and dignity.

The attorney general did not say when the appeal would be made and it is yet to be seen how the international community and local rights organizations will react to the latest move by the government.

Source: NAM News Network