‘A Country Under Siege’, a documentary film inspired by Botswana’s first major public service strike, recently completed pre-production.
Produced and directed by filmmaker Billy Kokorwe, the historic film, based on the industrial action which changed the country’s political and social landscape, takes an editorially balanced approach that examines the causes and impact of the strike as well as its aftermath in an exciting fast-paced insightful manner.
Edited to the highest standards during the filmmaker’s recent tour of his Positive Africa Image Campaign in the United Kingdom, the film opens with a montage of Botswana’s history beginning with the swearing in of Sir Seretse Khama as its first president based on a political system and constitution that were embraced and celebrated by all.
According to Kokorwe, the film fast forwards to decades later and recent day Botswana with Sir Seretse’s son, Ian Khama, as president and the public service strike that is perceived to have opened up debate on many aspects of the country’s political system, including the constitution, rule of law, power of the presidency and human rights.
He said the scenes of the industrial action fuse together with commentary from movers and shakers involved in the historic event.
BOFEPUSU President Andrew Motsamai gives a spirited overview of the events leading to the strike and its aftermath.
Political heavyweights in the form of presidents of the Botswana Movement for Democracy and the Botswana Congress Party explain their roles in the strike, views concerning government’s response to the strike, the power of the presidency, independence of parliament and the state of human rights and democracy in Botswana today.
Social commentator, Log Raditlhokwa, gives an analytical view of Botswana’s democracy; fellow University lecturer, Priest Dumi Mmualefe, gives a religious option, whilst the then Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General gives the party’s views.
“The film concludes with a montage of the challenges facing President Khama and his government, leaving a question mark on how complex issues that threaten to reverse the gains and positive image of Botswana will be resolved,” Kokorwe said.