The Gaborone District Commissioner’s office issued over 600 permits on the first day of the state of public emergency.
Speaking to BG Online in an interview District Commissioner Grace Seitshiro said they are trying their best to assist members of the public within the confines of the law. She said they do not use the ‘one-size fits all’ rule but instead assesses every application on a case-by-case basis before issuing permits.
“An example here is when a client comes to tell us that her helper is on dialysis on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, some even bring documentary proof from their medical practitioners.
“Or when a parent has a prescription that he or she must go and buy and or collect medication then we are compelled to issue such cases with permits for a certain period bccause if you leave such permits open for a long time people are bound to abuse the good gesture”.
However, she lamented that some Batswana come to them seeking to be given permits to go to the farmlands in order to check on their chickens, goats and other livestock.
“Clearly it shows that many peope still do not want to stay home they still want to go shopping and so on. This kind of behaviour is disturbing,” she said.
In his announcement of the state of emergency and lockdown President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi said that during the period of extreme social distancing, people are allowed to visit the nearest shop.
“But what we now see is that instead people prefer to go to big shopping centres at the other side of the city something which is not right. So this makes it really difficult for us,” said Seitshiro.
However, she was confident that the law enforcement agencies were helping a lot by clearing many things at their roadblocks. “I appeal to all Batswana to be considerate by looking at the bigger picture by first evaluating their reasons for wanting to be given a permit,” she said.