In any situation change should be accepted as a good thing. In fact, it should be accepted to be welcomed. Some say change is the only thing that does not change.
Change can also be bad when not handled well. The very people it was intended to benefit, if it is poorly communicated to them, can reject it. In fact, if not properly handled, it can cause confusion and be abused by some unscrupulous characters in that given society, community or organisation where it is implemented.
That’s what we are worried about with the new Botswana police corporate colours and re-branding. The Police Service (BPS) spokesperson, assistant commissioner Christopher Mbulawa, told Mmegi this week that, “There is nothing to tell at the moment. When the time comes we will call members of the press to inform them of any developments. For now there is nothing happening worth noting”.
Mbulawa uttered these words at a time when re-branded police vehicles are already on our roads performing day-to-day assignments of the BPS.
It is worrying that during these times of organised and highly sophisticated crimes, the Botswana police can release re-branded vehicles on public roads before informing the public about the changes.
In 2009 when the Botswana police introduced their new uniform to the public, it was first displayed at Special Support Group hall to senior officers and the press.
Advertisements were then flighted in local newspapers to inform the public about impending changes in the police uniform. Eventually, the uniform was released and there were no questions, or any uncertainty about it. The same Botswana police ensured that the old uniform was collected from officers, and as we speak, the old uniform is a thing of the past and will be put somewhere in the BPS museum.
In a nutshell, the BPS blundered by releasing re-branded vehicles first to the public without informing them. We cannot understand why the surprise.
What if, in a few weeks time, we hear about, or witness a uniformed gang arresting members of the public claiming to be members of a special branch in the police service?
For many years the Botswana police was among the best communicators in the civil service and they still are. We know that they can do better than this.
We call on Mbulawa and his team to tell us now what their re-branding entails – not because we want to make news, but for the sake of informing the public. The Botswana Police is the last organisation that should surprise or play such pranks on the public. Tell us now!
“It’s about time law enforcement got as organised as organised crime”.
– Rudy Giuliani