'KHAMA RULE REVISITED' Some Batswana disappointed in Masisi as DIS arrest Weekend Post journalists
The arrest of two Weekend Post journalists on Thursday night in Gaborone has seen social media get flooded with sentiments of disappointment at the current president Mokgweetsi Masisi whom many say had expected better of him.
The Saturday publication’s staffers David Baaitse and Kenneth Mosekiemang were reportedly detained by the DIS under unclear circumstances, but Editor Aubrey Lute confirmed the arrest to local media houses, saying the two were out to get pictures for a story the paper would be running this Saturday.
The journalists are said to have been in Block 3 location of Gaborone to get the pictures when the news organisation learnt of the arrest. At press time on Thursday evening, the media organisation’s lawyers were said to be working with the law enforcement agents to determine what could have lead to the arrest. Baaitse is a senior reporter while Mosekiemang is a photojournalist.
The Weekend Post wrote: “The journalists had gone to Block 3, Gaborone late afternoon today (Thursday) to take a picture relating to a story they are working on when they were met with arrest by security agents.”
However, news of the arrest was met with messages of disillusionment with many saying they had thought the era of harassing journalists had died with the presidency of former president Ian Khama. Many recalled how the new president had promised a better life for journalists than it was the case with the former president during whose tenure the harassment of journalists was the order of the day.
Candice Moelesi reacted: “The 2008-2018 script is playing itself out all over again with different actors now….” with Olebile Molefe reiterating at another post: “I thought they said this new regime will be friendlier to the media.”
Omphile wrote:”Nna personally Masisi has let me down. I had given him so much. He disappointed me tota, the gentleman looked promising.”
Nelson Mogotsi shared: “So we are back to Khama’s era? If Masisi endorsed this arrest then I am shocked because I believed things would be a lot better with him. No difference.”
Since no details of the arrest were shared, facebook users were left wondering what kind of story the journalists may have been pursuing, with suspicions that they could have been out to expose something the government does not want written about. Many were of the sentiment that things were beginning to look like they were in the past, while others defended the DIS stating that local journalists were sometimes behaving in an unprofessional manner and are quick to cry wolf when normal reaction from security agents follows.