Findings recommend that voters set the bar prime for emergency government powers.

Key findings

  • More than seven in 10 Batswana want democracy over every other political gadget (72%) and say that during apply, the rustic is “a full democracy” or “a democracy with minor problems” (75%).
  • Batswana overwhelmingly (93%) reject one-person rule with out responsibility thru Parliament and elections.
  • Three-fourths (76%) of voters say the president must be responsible to Parliament for a way his executive spends taxpayers’ cash. An even better majority (80%) say he will have to all the time obey the rustic’s regulations and courts, despite the fact that he thinks they’re mistaken.
  • In apply, 55% of Batswana say their president “never” ignores Parliament or the regulations and courts.

Botswana is steadily described as an open and aggressive democracy that through the years has unfailingly held clear, credible, and non violent elections (Sebudubudu, Osei- Hwedie, & Tsie, 2017). Its politics perform inside the framework of a parliamentary consultant democratic republic and multiparty gadget that gives area for citizen participation and session, an impartial and pluralistic media, efficient parliamentary engagement, and impartial oversight our bodies (Kebonang & Kaboyakgosi, 2017). This framework has enabled the sharing of energy thru tests and balances and substantial public keep watch over over using public assets, making responsibility a central piece of governance and decreasing the chance of energy abuse and corruption (Botlhale & Lotshwao, 2015).

In reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, President Mokgweetsi Masisi declared a state of emergency (Dinokopila, 2020). In addition to the in depth powers bestowed at the government via Section 47 of the Constitution, the state of emergency granted the president unfettered powers to rule via decree, bypass the standard processes for awarding public tenders, and curtail civil liberties. This used to be the second one state of emergency in Botswana’s historical past. The first, in September 1999, used to be declared via then-President Festus Mogae to proper an misguided nationwide citizens roll that threatened to disenfranchise 1000’s of citizens.

Botswana’s 2020 of state of emergency declaration, which lasted about 18 months, used to be no longer distinctive within the area; Lesotho and Namibia additionally declared states of emergency, whilst Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and South Africa used current regulations on crisis control, civil coverage, and public well being to claim well being emergencies (Gonese, Shivamba, & Meerkotter, 2020).

But opposition events in Botswana vigorously adverse the emergency declaration, arguing that the Public Health Act used to be enough to handle the placement and that the declaration – which they noticed as an try via individuals of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to complement themselves during the award of tenders – would weaken responsibility for the chief and curtail voters’ civil liberties.