Botswana

  1. Botswana allows married women to be allocated land

    A view of a section of Botswana's capital, Gaborone
    Image caption: Rights groups say the change was long overdue

    Married women in Botswana can for the first time be allocated state land even if their husbands already have an allocation of their own, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

    People in the country are able to go on a waiting list to receive land from the government, but, until Thursday's amendment to the law, an individual would be removed from the list if they got married to someone who already had a land allocation.

    This mostly affected women and led to problems following divorce or death of the husband.

    Botswana's president tweeted the amended law which reads: "Each Motswana will be eligible for allocation of one residential plot at an area of their choice within the country, on both state land and tribal land."

    He said the new policy will also protect widows and orphans who head households and are in need of land for residential purposes.

    Rights groups have welcomed the change saying it was long overdue.

  2. Botswana bans alcohol sales amid Covid-19 pandemic

    A Military Police officer gestures while checking the travel permits in Gaborone
    Image caption: The government reintroduced a lockdown on the capital, Gaborone

    Botswana's government has banned the sale of alcohol and suspended all liquor licences.

    A notice issued in the government gazette said the suspension was until further notice. All liquor stores will remain closed.

    The reason given for the ban was that alcohol had "negative effects on adherence to Covid-19 protocols".

    Last week, the government reinstated a strict lockdown in the capital, Gaborone, for two weeks to curb rising cases.

    The country has to date confirmed 804 coronavirus cases and two deaths.

  3. Covid-19: Botswana reinstates lockdown on capital

    Botswana's capital, Gaborone, has been placed under total lockdown for two weeks after recording 30 new cases of coronavirus.

    The order took effect on Thursday midnight.

    "Essential services will operate at 25% capacity, there will be no movement withing the Greater Gaborone Zone without a movement permit and movement to and from Greater Gaborone Zone will be void with immediate effect," said Kereng Masupu, the coordinator of the presidential Covid-19 taskforce.

    Botswana has to date confirmed 170 coronavirus cases and two deaths.

    The announcement of the lockdown has been shared on Twitter:

    View more on twitter

    Read:

  4. Mystery of Botswana's dead elephants

    Video content

    Video caption: Hundreds of elephants have been found dead near water sources in Botswana

    Hundreds of elephants have been found dead near water sources in Botswana

  5. Botswana president goes into coronavirus quarantine

    Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has quarantined himself after an official working closely with him tested positive for Covid-19, a government statement says.

    Some other people in the president's inner circle are also self-isolating, it adds.

    The government encourages people to continue taking precautions in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

    The country of 2.25 million people has so far recorded 227 cases of the virus and one death.

    View more on twitter
  6. Botswana lifts lockdown on capital city Gaborone

    A man receives hand sanitiser in Gaborone, Botswana
    Image caption: The lockdown on the capital was reinstated after new cases were detected

    Botswana has lifted the lockdown on its capital, Gaborone, after most of the latest reported cases of coronavirus turned negative.

    The southern Africa country emerged from an extreme lockdown on 21 May, but restrictions were reinstated in the capital last Friday after new cases were reported.

    The health ministry said 10 out of 16 suspected new cases had tested negative. The remaining six cases are awaiting confirmatory results, according director of health services Malaki Tshipayagae.

    The cases were detected at a private hospital and the government laboratory.

    Read:

  7. Botswana investigates deaths of more than 150 elephants

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Wildlife officials in Botswana are investigating the deaths of more than 150 elephants in the Okavango region over the past two months.

    The carcasses of the creatures were found intact, suggesting that they were not poached.

    Initial tests have ruled out poisoning by humans, and naturally occurring anthrax.

    According to media reports, samples have been sent to neighbouring South Africa for further testing and officials are awaiting the results to determine the exact cause of death.

    Botswana is home to almost a third of the elephant population in Africa, which has declined in the continent in recent years due to poaching.

  8. Botswana businesses to open as lockdown ends

    A military police officer gestures while checking the travel permits of motorists at a check point during the first day of the state of emergency in Gaborone, Botswana
    Image caption: The country had been on a 48-day lockdown

    Botswana has completed the phased easing of restrictions and will now allow businesses and schools to reopen under strict guidelines.

    The country was in lockdown for 48 days and started easing it two weeks ago.

    The final phase ended on Wednesday night and government advised people to keep wearing face masks and washing hands.

    “All lockdown restrictions will be lifted effective [from] midnight, with only those moving across the designated zones requiring permits to travel,” Covid-19 Task Force Co-ordinator Dr Kereng Masupu said in a televised briefing.

    “Depending on the coronavirus disease pattern, a return to lockdown will remain an option.”

    Stringent conditions have been set for businesses and schools wishing to reopen such as checking body temperatures, regular disinfection and the wearing of masks.

    Residents returning back to the country will have to go into mandatory quarantine and the ban of foreign visitors remains in place.

    Botswana has a relatively low number of Covid-19 infections with 29 cases recorded. One person has died.

  9. Botswana begins gradual return to work

    Customers queue at a supermarket in Gaberone
    Image caption: Botswana has been under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus

    Workers in Botswana have began the first phase of returning to work after the country eased coronavirus restrictions.

    Only 25% of workers are allowed to resume work and social distancing is to be ensured in offices.

    High levels of hygiene are also recommended as offices reopen.

    Here is a tweet from the government:

    View more on twitter

    Botswana has been on a lockdown that started late March.

    President Mokgweetsi Masisi extended the restrictions to 7 May and said resumption of normal activities would be phased.

    The country's coronavirus cases stand at 23 and one death.

  10. Botswana extends nationwide coronavirus lockdown

    An empty bus station in Gaborone
    Image caption: The country has been on a month-long lockdown

    Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has announced a one-week extension of the nationwide lockdown that was due to end on 30 April after one month.

    President Masisi said the extension was agreed after advice from health experts following an increase in local transmissions.

    The extension will end on 7 May followed by two weeks of "sequentially easing" the restrictions.

    During the extension, the government will decide on a strategy to ease restrictions depending on how citizens follow guidelines designed to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

    Botswana has confirmed 22 cases of the virus and one death.

    Read more:

  11. Video content

    Video caption: The perfumier who makes traditional African scents

    White Label Fragrances in Botswana makes perfumes and fragrances that smell distinctly African.

  12. Botswana's top health civil servants fired

    Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has fired the permanent secretary and his deputy in the ministry of health amid a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

    The two men were sacked on Tuesday, according to a government statement.

    No reasons were given for the dismissal.

    Botswana is on 28-day lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The country has 20 confirmed cases of the virus and one fatality.

    All Botswana's MPs have been quarantined for 14 days after a nurse who was on duty at parliament tested positive for Covid-19.

  13. Botswana leader pardons 149 prisoners

    President Mokgweetsi Masisi
    Image caption: President Mokgweetsi Masisi is currently in quarantine, along with all MPs

    Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pardoned 149 prisoners to help decongest prisons and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Those pardoned will be tested for the virus before being released back to their families.

    Among those pardoned are 20 foreigners. The immigration department will process their documentation to allow them to return to their countries.

    Botswana Prison Service Assistant Commissioner Wamorena Ramolefhe said 96 of those released were serving prison sentences while 53 were on extra mural labour.

    The country is on a 28-day lockdown and the members of parliament had been debating an extension before they were all placed on quarantine.

    The MPs were exposed after a nurse who was on duty in parliament tested positive for coronavirus.

  14. Botswana MPs caught breaking coronavirus rules

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    An anonymous man stacks supermarket shelves with fresh produce
    Image caption: They're now being supervised after flouting self-isolation to go to the supermarket (file photo)

    Several MPs in Botswana have been caught breaking their self-isolation instructions and have now been placed in supervised quarantine.

    On Thursday, all parliamentarians and President Mokgweetsi Masisi were asked to quarantine for 14 days after a health worker who had been screening them for the coronavirus herself tested positive.

    However a government statement said some of the MPs had regrettably been seen shopping in supermarkets.

    They have been moved from their homes to a supervised government facility.

    The statement did not say how many lawmakers had broken the rules.

    Botswana has reported 13 coronavirus cases and one death.