Looking at crime trends this year, one could rate 2017 as a bad year especially looking at violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder, The Monitor Staff Writer, PINI BOTHOKO observes
This year’s violent crime reports gave an early indication of where the national crime trends were heading to and that might have been behind the police’s interventions that led to so many arrests. Mid this year, in their infinite mission to curb drug trafficking and drug use amongst druggies, which was reported to have spiraled out of control, the police introduced the stop, question and search campaign that lead to the recent raids. Some of the raids were made public through different media platforms as a way of sending a clear message to potential dealers.
Shockingly, despite making a spectacle of themselves on television, that message appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, as the police continues confiscate and arrest druggies with large quantities of drugs on daily basis. The police also continue to register violent crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery to mention but a few something that puts the year 2017 on the spotlight as a bad year.
Following efforts to curb drug trafficking into the country, one might say it is time authorities ask the question why there is a massive proliferation of drugs in the country in order to come up with better strategies. This will be helpful especially that it has been established that some Batswana have partnered with foreigners from neighbouring countries, especially South Africa, to smuggle drugs into the country. The drug mules, dubbed tiger line in the street lingo, are reported to be smuggling illicit drugs through ungazetted entries.
Every week, for the past months, the Botswana Police Service (BPS) have been publicising media release notifying the public about their arrests but shockingly this has not deterred druggies to continue with their trade. This to some extent shows this people have a mission to accomplish, despite the arrests or being publicised on television.
Robbers continued to rob supermarkets at gunpoint, walking away with large sums of money and leaving the business community traumatised. However, the police made a positive effort and arrested six notorious armed robbers reported to have been terrorising southern district following a string of armed robbery incidents. On their arrests, the police retrieved three firearms and a large quantity of dagga suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
In a space of a few months, the police also arrested the notorious armed robbery suspects, Mogomotsi Thupane, Phenyo Ramaphane and Motlhabakoko ‘Babyface’Matshelo who were alleged to have committed numerous armed robberies whilst on bail.
Their co-accused Adolphius Mogakolodi Legae, who had fled to South Africa, was shot dead by the police late last month in a suspected shootout with the police at Block 6 in Gaborone.
Whilst people were still baffled with Legae incident, a 30-year-old man of White City location in Gaborone Alpee Mogotsi was arrested on suspicion of having raped and killed a nine-year-old girl the daughter of
On incidents of pickpocketing, theft and smash and grab within the city of Gaborone the police seem to be fighting a losing battle as such cases are reported daily. Recently, the police arrested 27 suspects for smash and grab with all of them being youths aged between 18-25. The other losing battle that the police are faced with is fighting cases of house-breaking and rape, as police stations continue to register them daily.
Year 2017 also had a shocker, as four people were condemned to die by hanging in the month of December alone. The sentences were passed within a space of two weeks.
On December 1, two convicted murderers Matshidiso Boikanyo and Moabi Mabiletsa were sent to the gallows. Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo sentenced the duo to death for masterminding the killing of Vincent Mopipi who was a Deluxe cab driver back in 2013. Court revealed that the two accused persons fatally stabbed Mopipi with a knife 44 times in Block 9 where he was supposed to drop them off.
Lobatse High Court Judge, Abednego Tafa sentenced another duo, Tshiamo Kgalalelo (31) and Mmika Mpe to death on December 14. The Gantsi farm workers were convicted earlier this year for brutally murdering their employer Reinette Vorster. Tafa ruled the duo be hung by their necks until they die for their roles in the robbery, murder and arson attack on Vorster back in 2014.
In March, Francistown High Court rejected an application to discharge Uyapo Poloko 37 who killed an Asian woman, Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam on January 2010 at Ntshe location in Francistown. Judge Modiri Letsididi previously convicted Poloko of the murder of Kandavaranam who then also attempted to kill the woman’s husband in the process robbing the couple two Nokia cellphones and P3,500.
Passing the sentence, Francistown High Court Judge Bashi Moesi dismissed Poloko’s application saying that once the court handed down the conviction and sentence, its duty had been done and the court lacked the competency to hear the matter.
Mid November, the Court of Appeal (CoA) confirmed and upheld a decision of the High Court that double murder convict Joseph Tselayarona must be hanged by the neck to death. The Gaborone High Court had convicted Tselayarona of Molepolole of the murder of his lover, Ngwanyanaotsile Keikanne and her three-year-old son, Miguel Keikanne back in 2010.
Then, it was reported that he murdered his girlfriend in cold blood by stabbing her with a trimmer and a screwdriver in front of her son, while she begged him to stop. Then he killed her son in the morning by suffocating him with a pillow.