Eleven Blue Jacket Street photographers were yesterday arrested and charged by the Botswana police for breaching the Covid-19 social distancing protocol.
The Friday arrest comes after another group of photographers was arrested on Wednesday.
The two arrests were condemned by social commentators and attracted the attention of the city’s political leadership.
The Francistown City Council Finance Committee and some councillors met with the photographers on Friday to get first hand information on their challenges and how they could be resolved.
Councillor Modiri Lucas told The Voice online that the 11 arrested were charged P200 each. “We pleaded with the police to give the photographers until Monday to settle the charge.
“In such hard times P200 is a lot of money, most can’t afford that in a day,” Lucas said.
He said the story of the photographers however caught the attention of a Motswana based in New York, America who sent P1100 to help pay the police charge.
“In total they need P2200 to settle the charge, we’ll meet on Monday as Councillors to see how we can raise the remaining balance,” he said.
Lucas said the photographers were also drilled on Covid-19 protocols like social distancing. “Its important that only photographers with cameras come to work. They should not bring their friends, to avoid crowding,”Lucas said.
He further said he managed to secure the name Blue Jacket Photographers (Pty) with CIPA for the young photographers.
“As a former freelance photographer myself I know the struggle they go through and I believe these hustlers will make it in life through their lenses,” Lucas said.