Concerns over the state's "aggressive and intolerant" attitude towards media
According to a media report, in October 2017 the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) expressed serious concerns over the situation for media in Botswana, claiming that the government has been "aggressive and intolerant" towards the sector. In an interview with news24, MISA-Botswana spokesperson Modise Maphanyane pointed out that media freedom is protected in the constitution but that is not always reflected in reality. Maphanyane's statement related to a hearing at the Lobatse High Court in which the Attorney General sought to prohibit a private newspaper - Sunday Standard - from publishing information related to an investigation of the head of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crimes. The Sunday Standard subsequently filed a counter application with the Court, seeking a decision that section 44 of the Corruption and Economic Crime Act, which states that publishing information on an investigation without lawful authority or reasonable excuse is an offense, contravenes section 12 of the Constitution of Botswana, which guarantees freedom of expression. The judge dismissed the interlocutory application, stating that "the required evidence on the status of the investigations cannot conduce to prove or disprove the constitutionality of Section 44 and the requirements for a final interdict".
Maphanyene of MISA Botswana further noted that:
"For too long, Botswana has been regarded as an oasis of democracy in a desert. But that story has to change. Botswana is an unequal country. They are economic disparities and the government has been very aggressive against the media. The government has withheld advertisement with private media, forcing media houses to self-censoring".
From July to September 2017, women throughout Botswana mobilised under the "Right to Wear What I Want" campaign and movement. The movement emerged after the assault of a woman wearing a miniskirt was captured on video and went viral. It brought attention to the pervasive issue of gender-based violence in the country through peaceful marches organised in several cities that drew hundreds of people.