Government employees, such as teachers, engineers, adiminstrators and other public servants across the country, face up to two years in jail if they disclose government information to third parties.
By this week, several government employees were signing a declaration in line with general 8.9 in which they are being asked to make an assurance that they will not divulge any information.
According to this declaration, civil servants may only divulge information after obtaining permission from their superiors.
Despite the size of the public service, in terms of the declaration, the President, cabinet ministers, Commissioner of Police, Attorney General, Permanent Secretaries, District Commissioners and Heads of diplomatic missions are the only ones government considers to be “superiors”.
The declaration bars any disclosure of information by civil servants while employed by government as well as after living the public service.
The declaration also states that civil servants shall surrender any document which they acquired by virtue of working in the public sector.
The officers are not allowed to take part in the running of private newspapers.
Although civil servants are allowed to write opinion letters and comment on issues of ‘general interest’, they are prohibited from tendering views which are based on political and administrative issues.
“Whether on duty or on leave of absence, he shall not (except with due authority) allow himself to be interviewed on questions of or connected with any matter affecting or relating to the public policy,defence,military or economic resources of Botswana,” the declaration states.
The declarations further prescribe against the using government information for private use.
“According to this declaration government employees ‘shall not directly or indirectly reveal, or use for private purposes, any information coming to his knowledge or acquired by him’ while in office as a public officer.