South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) has been put on visa restriction order by the Botswana government.
The order comes weeks before his scheduled crusade in that country, The Nation has learnt.
Botswana Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Edwin Batshu, using his country’s Immigration Act, gazetted the Bushiri restriction order on April 26 2017 under government notice number 271 of 2017.
Bushiri is scheduled to hold a crusade at Gaborone National Stadium on May 27 2017.
Batshu’s mobile phone went unanswered when The Nation tried to contact him while the Botswana government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay asked for more time to verify the issue.
“I am not in the office, let me find out for you. I hope I will have the information by tomorrow,” he said in a telephone interview.
However, a Botswana journalist Lawrence Seretse told The Nation that he spoke with Batshu who confirmed gazetting the order, but did not give the reasons for the restrictions.
“It has been gazetted already. It’s authentic and verified. We spoke with the minister,” Seretse told The Nation.
Under the title ‘Declaration of persons required to obtain a visa [to] enter Botswana’, the gazetted order reads: “Notice is hereby given that in accordance with regulations 5 of the immigration [Visa] regulations, the minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs hereby declares that Shepherd Huxley Bushiri of Malawian nationality is to obtain visa to enter Botswana.”
However, the order did not give a reason for the action as Malawi, being in the Southern African Development Community region, was in visa free zone with Botswana.
Meanwhile, Bushiri followers in Botswana have reacted angrily to their government’s decision. n