Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe has been accused of ruling with an iron fist as since he took over as Police Commissioner, there has been a rise in the number of police officers who have been dismissed from Botswana Police Services (BPS).
Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi told parliament this week that from August, 2012, 230 officers were dismissed from the BPS, whereas a total of 146 officers were dismissed between 2007 and July 2012. Makgophe took over the reins under controversial fashion as the apparent heir to the throne; Kenny Kapinga was instead sent on a diplomatic mission in South Africa.
Selibe Phikwe West legislator, Dithapelo Keorapetse had asked the minister to inform parliament about the number of Police Officers who have been dismissed from service summarily or after internal disciplinary hearings since August 2012 compared to the period between 2007 and 2012.
Keorapetse attributed the rise in the number of police officers being dismissed from work to incompetence of the incumbent commissioner since in the line of ranking he didn’t deserve to be appointed to the position. “Do you realise that since the new commissioner took over the number of officers being dismissed from work has risen as compared to under the previous police commissioners? What is the cause of this?” Keorapetse questioned Kgathi.
Kgathi has however covered up for the commissioner as he remarked that they could be more officers being dismissed because of ill discipline and also strict application of law by the new commissioner. According to Kgathi, the officers were charged with offences which include; neglect of duty, discreditable conduct, acting in a manner likely to bring discredit to the reputation of the Service, disobedience of lawful orders, cases rendering oneself unfit for duty through the consumption of intoxicating liquor or drugs, and absenteeism from duty without leave or reasonable cause.
“We all know that the incumbent Commissioner did not deserve to be appointed the Commissioner because according to Botswana Police hierarchy the Deputy Commissioner, Kenny Kapinga was supposed to have been appointed to the position,” said Keorapetse Keorapetse further indicated that the state of affairs at BPS in which officers are being dismissed at an unprecedented rate indicates that the commissioner is not competent enough or he is trying to impress his superiors.
Under his leadership, the Botswana Police Services has been involved in controversial acts including brutality on striking citizens, arrest and detention of journalists and citizens engaged in strike. They have been at least three famous cases of arrest of journalists of which they were later discharged after being detained.
Following his return from an ambassadorial post in Zimbabwe, Kapinga spilled the beans on the affairs of Botswana Police and how he ended up leaving the police service. Kapinga has since joined active politics and is expected to contest for a legislative post under Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in Okavango.
Kapinga has said his departure from Botswana Police was not a happy ending as even though he was seemingly given a more lucrative post, in actuality, he was sent on exile. Kapinga was transferred to Foreign Affairs ministry in 2011 following the infamous 2011 public servants strike. He was replaced with Makgophe.
Kapinga is not the only man who fell swiftly in President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s strategy, with Ikwathaeng Bagopi being among the victims. The highly rated former Deputy Commissioner was plunged from the Botswana Police Service and transferred to the former Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs. Bagopi, viewed as one of the finest police men of his generation has since been transferred to head the Public Service College.
Makgophe took over from retired Edward Tsimako, becoming the fifth citizen to be appointed commissioner since independence. Mr Simon Hirschfeld was appointed the first Motswana Police Commissioner. He retired in 1995 after serving as Police Commissioner for 24 consecutive years. Three other Batswana have since served as Commissioners; Norman Moleboge (1995 -2004), and Edwin Batshu (2004 – 2007).
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.