violated the Code of Ethics, due process should be
undertaken benchmarked on the principles of a fair
The Bill also provides for the appointment of
the Executive Director, to be appointed with the
approval of the Board who shall be on a fixed
contract of not more than five (5) years and eligible
for appointment to a second term of not more than
five (5) years as well.
A Secretary of the Board will also be appointed,
being a person suitably qualified to practice as a
legal practitioner in the courts of Botswana.
The Board itself shall consist of nine members,
elected at an annual general meeting of the
association for a period not exceeding three years
and shall include:
A chairperson.
A vice chairperson.
One person from Botswana Editors
One person from Botswana Press
One person from Media Institute of
Southern Africa-Botswana Chapter.
One person from Botswana Media
and Allied Workers Union.
A legal practitioner who is a member
of the Law Society of Botswana.
One person from a public university
who teaches journalism, media and
information studies.
One person from a private university
who teaches journalism, media and
information studies.
Of note also is Clause 26 (4) which criminalises
the failure by a member of the Board to disclose a
conflict of interest, making such person liable to a
fine of P5000,00 or one year imprisonment or both.
It is important to minimise on the criminalisation
particularly the possible threat of imprisonment.
This clause should elaborate on several other
mechanisms that can be utilised including a
disciplinary hearing, suspension or dismissal from
the Board should a member be found to have not
disclosed a conflict of interest.
The Association shall have funds from members’
voluntary contributions, fees and other monies paid
for services rendered by the Association, income
that the Association may receive from rentals or
sale of its property, grants, gifts or donations from
The Association shall be expected to produce
financial statements and engage auditors, approved
by the Board. The auditors’ report and audited
accounts shall be presented by the Board at an

ordinary general meeting.
Clause 35 then goes on to establish a Media Fund,
and notes that they shall be paid into the Fund, such
money, as may from time to time be received from
the above sources. The Board will be responsible for
the administration of the Fund. The establishment
of a Fund is a progressive idea; however, the law is
not clear with regards to the purposes for which the
Fund will be used.
Such a Fund is important for the sustainability
of the media industry which has been negatively
impacted by the decline in advertising revenue
due to the increased uptake of digital marketing
and technology, loss of revenue due to COVID 19
pandemic and decline in demand, among others.
In that regard, the Bill should elaborate on the
purposes for which the Fund shall be used as well as
the potential beneficiaries of such a Fund. Further,
the law should provide a clear percentage or amount
which shall be set aside to be deposited into the
Media Fund from the various sources of funds for the
This provision is thus vague in that it just makes
reference to ‘such money’ ‘from time to time’
without clarity on the specific timelines within
which some funds should be invested into the fund
for example on a quarterly basis. Such clarity could
also include setting an obligation that a certain
percentage of the funds received by the Association
from its various sources as stipulated in Clause 30.
On the definition of a journalist, the interpretation
section left it open to interpretation by the
Part VIII of the law on registration of journalists, and
more specifically, Clause 37 indicates that a person
shall apply to be registered with a professional body
using the prescribed form and upon payment of a
prescribed fee if they are an employee of a media
enterprise, the membership of which is recognised
by the professional body as furnishing a sufficient
guarantee of the recognised academic knowledge
and practical experience in journalism.
Another category would be that the person has taken
an oath as may be prescribed to uphold, respect and
adhere to the Code of Ethics or that in the opinion of
the professional body, that person is a fit and proper
person to be registered as a journalist.
In light of this, the interpretation section should be
amended to elaborate the aspects laid out in Clause
37 as they already define the person who qualifies as
a journalist or can be defined to be a journalist.
Be that as it may be, it should be noted that the
entire Part VIII needs to be amended as it focuses
on registration to a professional body and not

Analysis of the Botswana Media Practitioners’ Association Bill, 2022


Select target paragraph3