Says the President has reduced gender-based violence to a bicycle fun ride
Former president of the Women’s League of Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Daisy Bathusi, described President Mokgweetsi Masisi as a chauvinist at a virtual rally organized by the BCP on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to The Botswana Gazette afterwards, Bathusi said President Masisi had failed to declare gender-based violence (GBV) a national crisis and his government had refused to endorse a commission of enquiry which would have gone a long way in helping curb GBV.
Bathusi observed that GBV was high in high density areas where there was much poverty and low literacy levels. “His Excellency is not taking this thing seriously,” she said. “A week after they rejected Honourable Yandani Boko’s motion in Parliament, a staff member of the National Assembly became a victim of GBV and the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs was quiet about it until the Leader of the Opposition mentioned it. Quite astounding also is the fact that that Honourable Mephato Reatile said that there is not even a single budget allocated to such a grave matter, relegating it to a pet project where the President and his entourage have to raise funds for it, a bicycle fun ride.”
Bathusi said that she has organized petitions and created awareness and engagement platforms on the subject of GBV on her social media accounts. “I have also volunteered my services to Boteti Sub-District where I have become a part of the sub-district’s GBV committee that is headed by the District Officer. Through this platform, we have had a stakeholder mobilization campaign where we went through the whole sub-district on a fact-finding mission on GBV sponsored by Lucara Mine.”
In her view, teaching self-defence is not much relevant because some of the victims of GBV are toddlers. “What needs to be done is to declare GBV a crisis and allocate time and resources to it in order to ensure that it is effectively addressed”, Bathusi added.
Bathusi will run for the deputy presidency of the BCP against Taolo Lucas at the party’s next elective conference. The elective conference should have been held in July but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bathusi was the president of the BCP Women’s League from May of 2015 to February of 2019 when she was succeeded by Nono Kgafela at an elective conference. Kgafela was replaced by Tshimologo Dingake recently after Kgafela resigned and joined the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).