Mmegi Blogs :: With Boots on the rampage think twice when considering hitch hiking
Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 03:12 am.
With Boots on the rampage think twice when considering hitch hiking

The reality is that Boots, the drug sniffer, is in town.
By Owen Nsala Wed 29 Nov 2017, 18:14 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: With Boots on the rampage think twice when considering hitch hiking

There is indeed a new sheriff in town. Others may have to move over. To those who do not know Boots, allow me to introduce him. Boots is that dog which the Police use in their raids and is much more effective than man in detecting or sensing presence of habit-forming drugs, or substances which are outlawed in the Republic.

It occurred to me, whilst watching the news on Botswana Television, how easy it is for one to fall victim to Boots even though the person is without a doubt innocent. I was reminded just how easy it could be for an innocent person to be imprisoned for possession of habit-forming drugs simply by the wrong association. That one wrong move!  Wrong timing!

In terms of our laws, and more particularly dealing with habit-forming drugs, it remains an offence to be in possession of habit-forming drugs. If a motor vehicle is used in conveyance, or transportation of habit-forming drugs, then that motor vehicle, as an exhibit is impounded by law officers pending the outcome of the actual trial.

It may happen that an innocent citizen may fall victim to the law and no matter how hard he or she tries to explain, the Police may never want to believe him or her. To those who are in the habit of hitch-hiking there is a danger. Imagine a situation where there are four passengers in a sedan. One of the passengers, unbeknown to the rest of the crew in the sedan, is in possession of habit-forming drugs and with those drugs stuffed to the boot. Enter Boots. On his arrival, Boots will do his sniffing magic and in no time all of the occupants are surrounded by uncompromising law enforcement officers (well do not be deceived by what you see on television, beyond those cameras lies reality and torture).

Once the drugs are located at the boot of the vehicle, the first thing that will occur is that no one will claim ownership to the parcel that Boots the sniffer has brought to the Police. Invariably, all occupants will be rounded up, and their place will be a jail cell as investigations continue. Imagine the extent of anguish and pain you would go through, knowing quite well you are innocent and knowing very little of the owner of the parcel. Is it not that hitch-hikers care less to ask of each other who owns what and


who is in possession of what? A lot of the times, the journeys are accompanied by utter silence, and a mind-your-own-business approach to the journey. When Boots arrives, you never know who the actual culprit could be. Until all of you are cleared and investigations are done, you risk 14 days or more in police custody. That is the danger that lies with hitch-hiking.

To those who own their private cars, similarly be warned of giving rides to strangers. There is an inherent danger too, in that one of your passengers maybe, unbeknown to you in possession of the habit-forming drugs that Boots refuses to miss and would play to the gallery at their vicinity. Imagine journeying to a holiday and giving a ride to perfect strangers. They request you to open the boot and they pack their belongings thereat whilst you locate an album of your favourite artist. At the next  roadblock, or random stop-and-search, the boot is opened at the wag of Boot’s tail. Thereat, you are informed that not only are you under arrest, your expensive car is similarly under arrest and is to be seized. You may get your timely bail, but the release from seizure of the motor vehicle maybe a challenge. It may take a year to reclaim your asset.

Do not think the fact that you did not know will exonerate you from the grips of the law? It matters less, before the trial can commence, whether you knew of the possible wrong or not. Your car remains a candidate of seizure and detention of it has transported habit-forming drugs. Fellow citizens therefore need to guard against such sad eventualities befalling them on account of extending a noble gesture of not living one of your own behind and in this hectic festive period. The law unfortunately does not care much about the nobility of your gesture. It has to be followed. Your precious vehicle shall be confiscated.

I therefore urge all to be overly cautious when engaging in such trips and take the necessary precautions to safeguard your right to freedom and your right to property as Boots cares less about those rights. He will simply do his job and the police will never want to fail Boots on account of reasonably probably true accounts. Boots has no evidence to give. He just exposes. Do not be wrongly exposed. Be warned. Take heed. Salute Boots.


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