On Tuesday this week, President Mokgwetsi Masisi addressed the nation on the spiralling out of control spread of COVID-19 on the country and the African region.
In his Address, the president noted that the pandemic that started last year March has pushed both the human and financial resources to the limit, particularly as a result of the continued emergence of the new and more transmissible variants, which are more contagious, with the Delta variant being the latest.
Although the general public had anticipated some more movement restrictions, the president did not introduce any, but rather ordered for schools to be closed this Friday until August 17th.
However Batswana have expressed different views in response to Masisi’s address. FRANCINAH BAAITSE recorded some of the views from the streets of Maun.
Amantle Rebaone, 32
To some extent he addressed issues that have been pending for sometime.
It has been a while since he addressed us so we naturally expected him to touch on pertinent issues.
Personally I expected him to address issues of COVID-19 in depth especially the vaccine.
We want to know what’s next in the plan of action, when are we getting the vaccine? How much have we ordered, etc?
He did touch on the subject and said we will get some of the vaccine before December 2021, but he says we will all have received vaccine by 2022, but did not speak to the statistics.
He did not tell us how many doses they have ordered, when they will arrive, how will the roll out work and when exactly in 2022 will they have completed the roll out.
That’s what we wanted to hear but he only gave us the headlines and didn’t go into details so basically the speech was empty.
Otshepilemang Medupi, 40
I was expecting the president to restrict inter-zonal movements because COVID-19 cases and deaths are on the rise.
I was in fact expecting him to dwell more on COVID-19 and discuss it in detail.
But he did advice that we should avoid unnecessary travel and stay safe and follow COVID-19 protocols at all times.
Tebogo Basuti, 28,
The president did not disappoint. He shared the weaknesses on our food security and encouraged the nation to take advantage of CEDA (Citizen Entrepreneur Development Agency) loans and build a future from it.
He spoke about economic inclusion, which he said will be endorsed in Parliament very soon.
I really liked this because we all need to take part in building the economy of this country.
He further stated that there was no need for the police to be chasing after people and forcing them to put on protective face masks.
He further encouraged people to do so as individual responsibility to protect self and the lives of other people around us.
That is why he even called the nation to keep praying for the virus to go away and avoid unnecessary movements.
Amos Tlwaelo 26
Closing schools was the best decision because COVID-19 cases have gone up in schools and teachers are dying at an alarming rate.
We have lost family members and friends who are teachers.
I used to think that Botswana’s COVID-19 was not to so fatal until I started losing friends and people I know.
So I was expecting movement restrictions and a possible lockdown especially inter-zonal.
Mofana Lekgobanyane, 58,
He did not say anything new. I was expecting inter-zonal lockdown, but what he said did not change the status quo, the curfew is still from 10pm to 4 Am, liquor sale is still not permitted and we still need permits to travel from one zone to another, so basically what is new is that schools will close earlier than originally scheduled.