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Lockdown Could be Botswana’s New Norm until September

Botswana’s president has proposed extending a state of emergency in the southern African country to last six months. President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the measure is needed because people are not complying with restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Critics worry the plan, if initiated, would put too much power in the hands of the president. Botswana’s parliament will convene on Wednesday to deliberate on Masisi’s proposal. Initially, Masisi had announced a 28-day lockdown period after the southern African country recorded its first six coronavirus cases, including one death, last week. “I will cause, therefore, to be a meeting of parliament at which I will seek the endorsement of parliament to extend the state of public emergency for a total period of six months, for the single purpose of dealing with COVID-19, totally based on the signs available and the advice we got from our experts,” he said.