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Key findings
  • About eight in 10 Batswana (79%) say at least “some” officials in the president’s office are involved in corruption, including 50% who say “most” or “all” of them are corrupt.
  • The proportion of citizens who perceive most/all officials in the Presidency as corrupt has almost quadrupled over the past decade.
  • Three-quarters (76%) of citizens say the president should be accountable to Parliament, and more than eight in 10 (84%) want their president to be bound by laws and decisions of the courts, even if he thinks they are wrong. o In practice, slim majorities say the president “rarely” or “never” ignores Parliament (55%) and the courts (56%), but about three in 10 citizens disagree.
  • About seven in 10 Batswana (69%) say they trust the president “just a little” or “not at all,” and an equal proportion (69%) disapprove of the president’s job performance over the previous 12 months. o Poor citizens are particularly likely to distrust the president and disapprove of the way he has done his job.

Botswana continues to fare relatively well in prominent corruption and good-governance  indices. The latest Corruption Perceptions Index places Botswana in third position in Africa,  39th in the world (Transparency International, 2023). In terms of overall governance, Botswana  ranks fifth in the Ibrahim Index of Good Governance (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2022).  

But since President Mokgweetsi Masisi assumed office in 2018, critics have voiced concerns  about corruption in his government, including allegations of nepotism involving the awarding  of large tenders to a company owned by the president’s sister (Pheage, 2022; Africa Press,  2022). The president has also been accused of neglecting Parliament (Motlhoka, 2024) and  of compromising judicial independence by interfering in a tribal land dispute, a charge he  has denied (Mathala, 2023; Mlilo, 2022). 

The latest Afrobarometer survey shows that a growing share of Batswana see officials in the  president’s office as corrupt. Most citizens say the president must be accountable to  Parliament and obey the country’s laws and courts, even if he thinks they are wrong.  

Ahead of presidential elections in 2024, strong majorities express little or no trust in the  incumbent and disapprove of the way he has performed his job.  

Batlang Seabo

Batlang is a research associate of the Btoswana national partner, Star Awards

Wilford Molefe

Wilford Molefe is the co-national investigator for Botswana.