Batswana have more confidence in President Ian Khama to uphold the rule of law than they do in the public service, a recent survey by Afrobarometer has revealed. Despite a series of recent media reports suggesting that President Khama was abusing his position and ignoring the rule of law, a whopping 75% of Batswana surveyed by Afrobarometer still have confidence in Khama as a law abiding leader.
It further emerged in the survey that Batswana respondents have slightly more confidence in Khama than they do in the media as an effective watchdog: 74% of the respondents believe that the Botswana media is effective as a watchdog, while 14% feel it is not effective and 10% said they did not know. The survey ranked Khama as Africa’s second best law abiding leader after Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Afrobarometer conducted a survey of 34 African countries, including 22 that are heavily involved in mineral or oil production.
The findings of the survey were published last month in a report, “Mining, Oil States Open, But Official Impunity High: Few say they can trace tax revenue use.” The report findings shows that 75% of Batswana respondents feel that President Khama never/rarely ignores the law, while 8% felt that he often ignores the law and 16% said they did not know. Batswana’s confidence in President Khama is however not matched by perceptions of other Botswana public officials who are regarded as operating with some degree of impunity by more than a quarter of the respondents.
About 28% of Batswana respondents feel that officials who commit crimes “often or always” go unpunished, 63% said “never or rarely” go unpunished while 10% did not know. Despite the high number of respondents who expressed little confidence in public officials, Botswana ranks as the country with the lowest impunity among public officials.