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Press Release
22/08/16
DISTURBANCES BY ”UNEMPLOYEMENT MOVEMENT”

PRESS RELEASE

 

DISTURBANCES BY ”UNEMPLOYEMENT MOVEMENT”

 

VENUE: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY GROUNDS

DATE: 08/08/2016

TIME: Around 1400hrs

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

A group of some youth claiming to be aggrieved by lack of unemployment, gathered at the National Assembly, apparently to picket and send a message regarding their situation, to members of parliament. The group had not applied for a permit to assemble, as such, their gathering was unlawful, hence the involvement of the police to address the situation.

 

The gathering had about thirty (30) people who also attracted a few older sympathizers, some bystanders and journalists from some local media houses. At least some four (4) Members of Parliament (MPs) also took turns to address the picketers and these were Hon. P. Butale, Hon. D. Keorapetse, Hon. I. Davids and Hon. P. Mokgware. In addition, Mr. M.C. Rakgare, who is the Botswana Congress Party Youth League President was among the sympathisers.

 

The four MPs took turns to address the picketers on the spot and informed them that they have the right to picket as they were not breaking any law. Mr. Rakgare was also captured on video saying that the Police were violating the rights of the picketers and further indicated that soon they will also come armed to match the Police and the latter will incur casualties as a result.

 

 

At around 1430hrs, the Police ordered the group to disperse within 10 minutes, but they did not do so. They continued to argue with the Police until the Police dispersed them by force at around 1530hrs. Four of the protesters were arrested and released this morning pending assessment of the case by the DPP.  The four are;

·         B/C/M Ogaufi Ali Kerekang aged 31yrs of H/No. 18990, Phase 2, unemployed.

·         B/C/M Khumoekae Richard aged 28yrs. A Senior Administration Officer at Gaborone Central Constituency office.

·         B/C/M Jones Banda aged 26yrs of Mmopane Village. Unemployed.

·         B/C/M Tlamelo Tsurupe aged 23yrs of H/No. 8531, Tsolamosese.

 

Upon dispersal, some over forty (40) demonstrators reemerged at Central Police Station, still holding their placards, obviously following their colleagues who were arrested at the same station, to show their solidarity. MPs Butale and Keorapetse, in the company of a Mr. Lekgowe, who alleged to be the legal representative of the four, also came to the Police Station demanding to know the reasons for the arrest of those detained. The crowd eventually dispersed later, without any adverse incident.

 

It has to be noted that the protesters are expected to continue with their protest today as they have agreed with MP Butale that they should meet and come up with a petition so that he can present it to Parliament.

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