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Botswana Prison Services modernizes

The Botswana Prison Services (BPS) is currently undergoing a thorough restructuring phase aimed at modernizing an agency that has long been neglected and underdeveloped in comparison to other disciplined forces. This essay will explore the key aspects of the restructuring process, including the establishment of an air wing and an intelligence wing within the BPS. Additionally, it will highlight the positive impact of these changes on the efficiency and competitiveness of the agency.

Restructuring Initiatives

Under the leadership of Commissioner Dinah Marathe and her management team, the BPS has successfully persuaded the government to initiate a restructuring process to address the agency’s past neglect and resource shortage. Substantial funds have been allocated to facilitate this organizational transformation.

One significant aspect of the restructuring is the establishment of an air wing within the BPS. This wing will be equipped with two helicopters primarily used for transporting high-risk inmates between prisons and for urgent deployment of officers. While specific details regarding deadlines, costs, and the number of aircraft required are still being finalized, the introduction of an air wing will undoubtedly enhance the agency’s operational capabilities.

Another crucial aspect of the restructuring process is the creation of an intelligence wing within the BPS. This wing aims to tackle the growing problem of cell phone smuggling into jail cells. To build the foundation of this intelligence unit, highly competent military intelligence operatives from the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) have been recruited. Additionally, disgruntled intelligence officers from other agencies, such as the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), have requested transfers to this newly formed unit.

Benefits and Impact

The restructuring efforts within the BPS have already yielded positive results, leading to increased efficiency and competitiveness. Officers have praised Commissioner Marathe’s leadership, citing improvements such as the installation of blue lights on vans used to transport suspects to courts across the country. These enhancements have simplified operations and improved overall effectiveness.

Furthermore, the transfer of the BPS from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Ministry of Defence, Justice, and Security has resulted in improved conditions and boosted morale within the agency. Previously, the BPS had to compete for resources with sister departments, hindering its ability to address its unique challenges adequately. However, under the new ministry, the BPS has received increased support and attention, allowing for more effective operations.

The comprehensive restructuring efforts being undertaken by the BPS are expected to make the agency more appealing to skilled professionals and new graduates. By modernizing its operations and addressing resource shortages, the BPS aims to attract talented individuals who can contribute to its ongoing transformation.

BPS insiders posit that the ongoing restructuring phase within the Botswana Prison Services is a significant step towards modernizing an agency that has long been neglected. They agree that the establishment of an air wing and an intelligence wing will enhance the BPS’s operational capabilities and address critical challenges such as cell phone smuggling. “The positive impact of these changes is already evident, with increased efficiency and competitiveness reported by officers. By attracting skilled professionals and new graduates, the BPS aims to continue its transformation and become a more effective and modernized agency,” said one insider who preferred anonymity.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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Disability characterized by exclusion

22nd February 2024

Disability in Botswana, like in many other nations, has been characterized by exclusion, discrimination, and stigmatization. Negative attitudes towards individuals with disabilities (IWDs) have led to barriers in education, employment, and access to facilities and information. The lack of disability-specific legislation in Botswana has further perpetuated the exclusion of IWDs from society.

The National Policy on Care for People with Disabilities (NPCPD) in Botswana, established in 1996, aims to recognize and protect the rights and dignity of individuals with disabilities. The policy emphasizes the importance of integration and equal opportunities for IWDs in various sectors such as health, education, employment, and social development. While the policy provides a framework for addressing disability issues, it falls short of enacting disability-specific legislation to protect the rights of IWDs.

In 2010, the Government of Botswana established an office for IWDs within the Office of the President to coordinate disability-related policies and programs. While this office plays a crucial role in mobilizing resources for the implementation of policies, its approach to service delivery is rooted in social welfare, focusing on the care of IWDs as a social burden rather than recognizing their rights.

The lack of disability-specific legislation in Botswana has hindered the recognition of the rights of IWDs and the enactment of laws to protect them from discrimination and exclusion. Without legal protections in place, IWDs continue to face barriers in education, employment, and access to facilities and information, perpetuating their exclusion from society.

In order to address the exclusion of IWDs in Botswana, it is crucial for the government to prioritize the enactment of disability-specific legislation to protect their rights and ensure equal opportunities for all. By recognizing the rights and dignity of individuals with disabilities, Botswana can work towards creating a more inclusive society where IWDs are valued and included in all aspects of life.

 

 

 

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DJ Bafana’s one man show on the cards

21st February 2024

DJ Bafana, a talented DJ from Francistown, is gearing up to host his very own one-man show, a groundbreaking event that aims to not only showcase his skills but also empower fellow musicians. This ambitious project is currently in the planning stages, with DJ Bafana actively seeking out potential sponsors to help bring his vision to life.

In a recent interview with WeekendPost, DJ Bafana revealed that he is in talks with two potential venues, Limpopo Gardens and Molapo Leisure Gardens, to host his show. However, he is facing challenges in securing sponsorships from companies, particularly those who do not fully understand the importance of music-related events. Despite this setback, DJ Bafana remains determined to make his one-man show a reality and to use it as a platform to empower and support other artists in the industry.

What sets DJ Bafana’s show apart is the fact that he will be making history as the first person living with a disability to host a one-man show in Botswana. This milestone is a testament to his resilience and determination to break barriers and pave the way for others in similar situations. By showcasing his talent and passion for music, DJ Bafana is not only proving his worth as an artist but also inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.

As DJ Bafana continues to work towards making his one-man show a reality, he remains focused on his goal of empowering and uplifting his fellow musicians. Through his dedication and perseverance, he is setting an example for others to follow and showing that anything is possible with hard work and determination. The date for the show is yet to be announced, but one thing is for certain – DJ Bafana’s one-man show is sure to be a memorable and inspiring event for all who attend.

 

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