28.07.2020-BONELA Calls for Holistic Constitutional Review

  1. Botswana has for many years been lauded as the regional leader in peace, democracy and economic stability. Since independence, the country has positioned itself as a player in international affairs as demonstrated by the signing, ratifying and domesticating international and regional treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR,1966), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1996), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1995), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) to name a few.
  2. That notwithstanding, the county’s Constitution has come under scrutiny and found to be archaic and lacking in its ability to holistically promote and protect human rights. BONELA has therefore consistently made calls for Constitutional review with a view to include socio-economic rights. This has become even more pressing in the era of COVID-19 given the many lessons government and civil society actors are learning as they reconcile public health concerns with Human Rights.
  3. While BONELA recognizes and respects Honorable Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr. Kabo Morwaeng’s right to table a Constitutional Amendment Bill; it is however desirable that a more holistic approach in the form of a Constitutional review be pursued.
  4. The BDP promised the electorate that once in power, they would prioritise a review of the Constitution.

“Since independence, the Constitution of Botswana has undergone very little review. The BDP therefore commits to a comprehensive review of the Botswana constitution with an aim to aligning it to international standards. As a republic, we need a constitution that guarantees all citizens equality before the law. All discriminatory provisions will be removed in favour of more inclusive provisions.”[1]

The public therefore has a legitimate expectation for the BDP to deliver on its promise.

  1. BONELA therefore urge Parliament reject this Bill and rather call for a holistic review of the Constitution.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT BONELA ON: Cindy Kelemi at cindyk@bonela.org or +267 73007782
Tebogo Gareitsanye at tebogog@bonela.org or +267 73297509

[1] BDP 2019 Election Manifesto, pg 49