40 foreigners slapped with Visa restrictions

Since 2008, a total of 40 foreigners from countries whose citizens do not need to apply for a visa to enter Botswana have been put on the list of people who are required to apply for such should they want to enter Botswana.

Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu told Parliament on Monday. The foreign nationals are from 13 countries; South Africa, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Kenya, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zimbabwe.

Batshu was responding to a question from Selibe Phikwe West Member of Parliament Dithapelo Keorapetse who wanted him to state the number of foreign nationals who have been put under visa restrictions despite them coming from countries whose citizens ordinarily do not need a visa to enter Botswana from 2008 to date. He also asked the minister to state their countries of origin, professions and reasons for them needing visa.

“This is done for monitoring purposes, hence as a country, the protection of our national interests and security are a priority,” he said, adding that the ministry however, does not have the information on their professions since it does not form part of the assessment.

Amongst the people required to apply for a visa to enter Botswana are British nationals, Advocate Gordon Bennett, who successfully challenged the relocation of Basarwa from Ranyane settlement, Steven Corry, Miriam Ross, Fiona Watson and Jonathan Mazower, all of Survival International, the government’s well-known nemesis in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve saga. Rupert Isaacson, Eric Grossberg and Tom Price of the USA and Australian, Ian Taylor as well as Daniella Stor of Canada are on the list.

Recently, South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters’ members, lawyer Dali Mpofu, the party’s chief whip Floyd Shivambu, MPs Magdalene Moonsamy and Andile Mngixtama, as well as party spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were also added to the list which also has the party’s Command in Chief, Julius Malema, whose visa requirement condition was imposed on him last year.