Charging Of Vee Raises Questions About Police Criteria

BDP incidents of meetings regardless of COVID-19 rules and regulations revisited as popular musician is fined


FRANCISTOWN: The recent charging of popular musician Odirile “Vee” Sento with violation of State of Emergency (SOE) rules and regulations has raised questions about criteria used by Botswana Police Service (BPS) to lay charges.

Vee and other artists were charged by Broadhurst police for holding an open meeting of creatives at Old Naledi recently. The musician was held accountable for having organized the meeting contrary to SOE rules and regulations that prohibit gatherings and fined P10 000.

Questions have subsequently been raised because the Central Committee of the Botswana Democratic Party had a meeting during the nationwide lockdown in Gaborone earlier this year but no one was charged regardless of the controversy around the event.

At the time, BPS spokesman Dipheko Motube told this publication that the matter was under investigation but the police did nothing afterwards.

There was also the incident of MPs who went shopping after they were ordered to go into quarantine. They too were never charged for violating the rules and regulations of COVID-19. The BDP again held a memorial service in Francistown where multitudes turned up after an activist of the party died.

The Secretary General Mpho Balopi subsequently went on social media to apologise for violation of COVID-19 rules and regulations following public outcry.

Members of the public raised concerns about the First Lady’s birthday celebration held in Lobatse where people did not observe social distancing.

BPS spokesman Near Bagali was yet to respond to a Botswana Gazette questionnaire at the time of going to press.