The Botswana National Front (BNF) strongly condemns the recent declaration of lawyer and human rights activist Joao Carlos Salbany as a prohibited immigrant (PI) in Botswana by the new President Masisi administration. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) led government continues its systematic purging, intimidation, hatred and onslaught on Batswana and foreigners who freely expresses their views. These are calculated desperate ploys by the BDP to silence all those it suspects to sympathise with the opposition.
Salbany joins another long list of BDP blacklisted, deported and prohibited immigrants like Basarwa lawyer Gordon Bennett, former University of Botswana lecturer Professor Kenneth Good, South African youthful politician and Economic Freedom Fighters President Julius Malema, United States actor Rick Yune, just to mention a few. Their main crime is that they are suspected to sympathise with the opposition parties and advocating for activists. Salbany freely expressed his views on several national and topical issues like Presidential succession in Botswana, reception of gifts by a retiring President from the poor Batswana and offering legal services to private media houses, opposition parties and trade unions. To the BDP led government that does not respect human rights, these are atrocious and treasonable crimes.
The BNF therefore once again calls upon the BDP led government to respect human rights as enshrined in Botswana laws and international statutes. The Immigration Act is wantonly abused. The BNF under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) condemns this continued harassment, deportations, imprisonment, intimidation, etc of both citizens and residents who hold different views from that of the BDP led government. Innocent trade unionists, media practitioners, politicians, unemployed youths, etc have been victims of the BDP led government reign of terror. Several houses and vehicles have also been mysteriously broken into for mobile phones and computers by suspected security agents. Workers in both public and private sector have been dismissed from work under unreasonable and unfair circumstances while others have been transferred to unrelated departments or rural areas as a form of punishment for being opposition party suspects. Some employees have also been demoralised by not being promoted on the same charge that they are opposition sympathisers. Another section of society has also been slapped with frivolous charges like assault, sedition, etc forcing them into exile like Bakgatla Paramount Chief, Kgosi Kgafela and Sunday Standard journalist Edgar Tsimane.
It has become a punishable offence in Botswana for one not to be in the BDP database as lucrative tenders and loans are also awarded on partisanship ticket. The BNF cautions Batswana to be careful and worried by the BDP conduct as it proves to be more deadly and dangerous in recent years as it faces electoral defeat in the 2019 general elections. In fact, the BDP activists have even recently gone on record that those critical of the party should be killed. Those who will be lucky to survive sudden death will find themselves jobless, failing interviews, losing tenders, subjected to advertising ban, being harassed, deported or declared PI, ultimately leading to slow death. Many Batswana have already succumbed to these dirty BDP tactics.
The BNF therefore calls upon all Batswana to stay focused and elect UDC in 2019 so that the party reverses all these draconian and oppressive laws.
BNF Secretary for Information and Publicity