Central Transport Organization General Manager, Lawrence Thebe
The P71 million tender awarded to Tata Consultancy Services four years ago to install tracking system in all government vehicles will be finally completed at the end of this month.
Central Transport Organization General Manager, Lawrence Thebe told Weekend Post that public officers’ abuse of government vehicles and fuel through personal errands will come to an end soon.
During an interview this week, he disclosed that the vehicle tracking system was initiated to curb the recklessness and abuse of fuel and the estimated 11000 government fleet by public officers. Government buys vehicles every financial year either to replace old ones or as new departments or assignments come are established. He was however reluctant to specify the exact type to vehicle tracking his organization has adopted.
The tender was floated and awarded to Tata Consultancy Services in 2011 and implementation started in 2012. Thebe described the project implementation as satisfactory, even though he said only 50% of the vehicles have been installed with tracking devices. This, he said, was due to the comprehensive nature of the project which commenced with the architectural design of the area coverage, linking all CTO centres countrywide with other government departments such as government accounting system, roads transport and national registration in order to capture vehicle and driver biodata as well as staff training to empower them to implement the project.
The project, he said is now at the final testing stage. The tracking system will be able to collect data to determine and control the real time location of the vehicle, the route taken, its movement or location, over-speeding and the general history and maintenance plan of each individual vehicle, viewed from an electronic map in a central control centre.
Vehicle tracking is a form of fleet management enabling real time location of all drivers to enhance their efficient use and allocation to meet the demands of the users. The system can also be used for legal and regulatory compliance for instance, whether or not the driver meet take a rest at regular intervals and obeying speed limits.
Several types of vehicle tracking devices exist. Typically they are classified as "passive" and "active". "Passive" devices store GPS location, speed, heading and sometimes a trigger event such as key on/off, door open/closed. Once the vehicle returns to a predetermined point, the device is removed and the data downloaded to a computer for evaluation. Passive systems include auto download type that transfer data via wireless download. "Active" devices also collect the same information but usually transmit the data in near-real-time via cellular.
Many modern vehicle tracking devices combine both active and passive tracking abilities: when a cellular network is available and a tracking device is connected it transmits data to a server; when a network is not available the device stores data in internal memory and will transmit stored data to the server later when the network becomes available again.
The GPS device fits into the vehicle and captures the GPS location information apart from other vehicle information at regular intervals to a central server. The other vehicle information can include fuel amount, engine temperature, altitude, data for a comprehensive picture of vehicle locations.
Other applications include monitoring driving behavior, such as an employer of an employee, or a parent with a teen driver. Vehicle tracking systems are also popular in consumer vehicles as a theft prevention, monitoring and retrieval device. When used as a security system, a Vehicle Tracking System may serve as either an addition to or replacement for a traditional
Transit tracking on the other hand is the temporary tracking of assets or cargoes from one point to another. Users will ensure that the assets do not stop on route or do a U-Turn in order to ensure the security of the assets. With the technology, CTO will be able to use it for fuel monitoring as an important usage of vehicle tracking to monitor the fuel through tracking device. Distance calculation is an important usage of vehicle tracking to calculate the distance travel by the fleet.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.