Francistown West Member of Parliament, Ignatius Moswaane, led a group of residents to protest the presence of foreigners – predominantly Zimbabweans – in the city, whom they accuse of trading illegally and taking away their jobs and opportunities.
His attempt to obtain permission to deliver a petition to the District Commissioner was frustrated by the latter, who informed the police that he was not available on the date set by Moswaane. It is common practice, as explained by the Botswana Police Service, that without a recipient for a planned petition, they do not issue permission or security for demonstrations/ peaceful marches.
Any gathering without permission from the police is deemed an unlawful gathering and the organizers are charged for convening an illegal gathering. As the convener of the group, Moswaane was charged for ‘unlawful assembly’. He is adamant that he did not break any law.
The case continues.