Conflict in Botswana

Nozizwe W. Ntesang

In Botswana, we are fortunate to have never experienced conflict in the sense that is synonymous with wars (as is the case in other African countries.) My analysis of this topic therefore will be at a micro-level.

There are various kinds of conflict that I've encountered, the first one being a Gender conflict. This is perpetuated by the patriarchal nature of our culture as Batswana. Examples of such are the belief that a man is not to be questioned by his wife/held accountable for actions, the belief that a man is entitled to extra-marital affairs which he shan't be quizzed on either, "monna ke selepe o a adimanwa," amongst many others.

This cultural stance causes a lot of conflict within Batswana homes because it gives men the upper hand in a marriage as opposed to the spouses being equals within their home. It also breeds an attitude of an impunity in men which is not a desirable trait in conflict resolution. In a country with plummeting HIV/AIDS infection rates, such attitudes serve to only excercabate the increase. 

The deadly disease is more often than not also a source of conflict in Botswana. It was only last week that foreign prisoners were granted the right to receive free ARVs (Anti-Retrovital Drugs) like their citizen inmates. Prior to this decision, the unfair treatment towards foreigners caused a lot of hostility as depriving them on the ARVs was an unjust doing which grossly violated their human rights. 

The above list is far from exhaustive in so far as conflict is concerned. I took to the streets of Gaborone to hear their views of young Batswana on Conflict. 

Read The Interviews Here