Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Human rights organizations slammed for lack of activism

Outgoing Botswana Congress Party (BCP) youth league president, Lotty Manyapetsa, has lambasted local human rights organizations for lack of action on issues regarding Batswana welfare.

Addressing a press conference in Francistown over the weekend, Manyapetsa took issue with the activists for betraying Batswana and for failing to stand up for the mandates and principles of their organizations.

“Local human rights organizations are failing the country. A clear example is the issue of Segametsi Mogomotsi of Mochudi who was mysteriously murdered in 1994. The government had to rope in Scotland Yard from England at taxpayers’ expense and to date the report or the findings of the investigations have never been released. Where are all the local human rights organizations like Ditshwanelo who should have been voicing such issues?” asked Manyapetsa.

He expressed dismay at the recent decision by President Ian Khama to pardon the three BDF soldiers who were convicted of murdering John Kalafatis.

He said that the decision by the president should be questioned, especially by the human rights organizations. He further lambasted Khama for the decision, saying that it goes to show that the President does not respect the decisions of the court and its existence.

“The decision by President Khama to free those murder convicts leaves a lot to be desired. It instils fear among Batswana, including our safety as opposition politicians. If Kalafatis was a mere criminal who was shot with 16 bullets, what would make it difficult for Khama to order the killing of opposition party politicians who oust the ruling Botswana Democratic Party from power,” he said.

Manyapetsa further expressed disappointment over the lack of political funding in the country saying that it disadvantages opposition parties while giving the BDP an edge at elections.

“The issue of political funding in the country remains one of the burning issues for opposition parties. Unlike the BDP, which is enjoying state resources, opposition parties will never succeed in their endeavour because they do not have funds to de-campaign the ruling BDP,” Manyapetsa said.
He also pointed an accusing finger at the BDP for abusing state funds and added that the party prefers to do things in secrecy, away from Batswana. He pleaded with Batswana, especially the youth, to pressure parliament to pass the Freedom of Information Bill.

“There is dire need for Batswana to pressure parliament to pass this bill. Enough is enough with the BDP government running the country in secrecy and abusing state resources,” he said.
The press conference was held in honour of the outgoing youth league president.

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