Although some would view the use of CCTV surveillance in cities as a panacea to preventing crime or deterring it, there is a strong belief amongst many that its use is an intrusion with visions of Orwellian “Big Brother” invading personal privacy.
It is quite a norm that some commercial and semi-public establishments such as banks, malls, and stores use closed circuit TV to record who comes into their location, a certain percentage of the public is by now used to being on surveillance. Many governments across the world now employ CCTV technology to monitor their streets, with the hopes of detecting or deterring crime. Gaborone will soon join the list of controlled cities, according to President Lt Gen, Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
In his State of the Nation Address early this week, the President announced that the Botswana Police Service “is at an advanced stage in the process of introducing a Safer City programme in order to build capacities for policing the city of Gaborone by means of closed circuit television technology.”
Although no further information was shared with regards to the programme. The president assured that such a programme will address the efficiency of the response processes as well as speed up the investigation and detection of crime and it will be cascaded to other areas of need over time.
Botswana is in dire need of crime mitigation, as it is. Over the years, violent crime, including smash and grabs, muggings, armed robberies, home invasions have significantly increased. CCTV technology has been employed the world over for crime control purposes. In South Africa, where the system costs the Joburg municipality R20 million a year, its installation in the mid 2000s in the Johannesburg CBD is said to have resulted to lessened crime activity in the area, in the past 14 years. The system also, according to online reports is instrumental in curbing corruption. Footage can be used to provide strong evidence of motorists who bribe police officers, the reports claim.
In 2012, Kenya also strategically placed cameras at its metropolis, Nairobi to beam the streets, in a Sh400 million project sponsored by the Nairobi Central Business District Association, police and the Nairobi City Council, Business Day reported.
In the US, the Department of Homeland Security distributes millions of dollars annually as grants for state and local agencies to invest in modern video surveillance technologies. New York alone already has close to a million CCTV cameras while Chicago plans to have a surveillance camera interconnected with a centralised monitory centre on every street corner by 2016. London is home to more than 1.85 million CCTV cameras strategically placed across the city.
However critics argue that the millions used to install CCTV should rather be channelled to street lighting, proper policing and mobilising police officers for easy patrolling. Recently, residents of Block 6 in Gaborone, whose crime statistics seemingly have shot through the roofs have called on to the city council to restore the street lights in that location. Police in Botswana are also unable to carry out patrols due to lack of patrol vehicles.
For some CCTV technology is a “quick fix” to crime busting.The UK, thugh regarded the world’s most watched city still experiences alarming cases of terrorism attacks, along with the US, which too has the largest number of cameras in almost its cities.
Marcus Kebaabetswe Oletile, a resident of Gaborone however believes that CCTV always plays the perfect snitch, as with video footage available, there wouldn’t be need for witnesses who are in most cases afraid of coming up front. He adds that the footage could also be of use in National security matters. Hendrika Stegling however thinkx that installing CCTV cameras would be somewhat an invasion of privacy, “Invasion of privacy would be a biggy, but crime wise it’s beneficial,” the IT graduate said.
Also in the case of Botswana, where power outages are the order of the day, some worry about the efficiency of the system, once installed. “It won’t make sense to install CCTV when there is no power, they won’t work,” opined Stu Mphafe.
Furthermore, Mphafe worries about the amount of money that would gp towards the programme, when there are more serious issues like water shortage. “It doesn’t make sense to have CCTV when people are all thirsty.”
Government will have to consider seriously who provides the services. Early this year, Business Day reported that CCTV cameras on the streets of Nairobi would have to be upgraded as they “cannot capture reliable images to pin down criminals and traffic offenders.” The cameras were installed by a Chinese company, after it won a tender to install the 51 cameras, Business Day cited.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.