The neighboring country's legislature had convened a two-day special meeting to consider the request by Masisi early this week for an extension of the current 21-day lockdown if the threat posed by coronavirus does not recede.
Following a rigorous debate about the request during which the opposition shot down the proposal, ruling Botswana Democratic Party legislators used their numerical strength to prevail.
Among other regulations, the proposed extended state of emergency seeks to suspend the right of workers to strike and would force all public service or private sector employees to work from home, except those providing essential services.
The regulations also state that where a business is unable to have employees work remotely from home or where a company is unable to pay salaries, they may cease operations but shall not retrench or dismiss an employee during the state of public emergency.Citizens and non-citizens are not allowed into Botswana during the state of public emergency, according to the proposed regulations.
Commenting on the development Political economist Bakang Ntshingane said, "The debate dragged on for too long. This should have been a simple debate for President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his team, following the simple rules and format of the British Parliamentary style of debate. There were several burdens of proof to satisfy in the President's case. The majority of the burdens of proof should have been laid out and partially satisfied in the President's first speech to Parliament.
"The data, transmission and risk projections, overall grand strategy for mitigation, prevention, planning processes etc should have been clear to point out what exactly the executive wants to do, and most importantly, why it needs to take six months to get it done."
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