Lately, the Botswana Police Service has been stepping up efforts to combat crime. Among the new interventions, the Police Service has introduced community policing.
This is a collaborative effort between the police and the community to identify problems of crime and disorder and involve community members in the search for solutions to these problems, which include apprehending criminals.
This is indeed laudable. Recently community policing was launched as a pilot in Serowe, Mogoditshane and Gaborone West. We can only urge communities in these areas to work together with the men and women who they will be seeing more and more in their streets and premises. We have all known the value of community-police partnership.
Not only does such partnership benefit the community. It also takes off the police the burden of policing the area alone and allows divertion of scarce resources to more needy areas. In this regard we applaud especially Block 5 and Block 6 residents in Gaborone for their tenacious and exemplary efforts in partnering with the police and fighting crime in their areas.
It is from the efforts of these residents that we get to appreciate that for this country to succeed in reducing crime, we all must play a part. Indeed there are other communities around the country that have equally worked tirelessy with the police. We call for other communities to borrow a leaf from these men and women. Already we we see this happening.
The Pitsane leadership and traditional doctors together with Goodhope Police have partnered after this fashion.While there is no scientific proof that muti fortifies criminals, we believe that belief in it emboldens the criminals and that inyangas who claim to fortify criminals should desist from such acts as that only helps criminals become more daring. The medicine men and women who attended the Pitsane Pitso must be applauded for accepting that there are some unscrupulous practitioners amongst them, and that that these must be dealt with.
The rumour mill has it that criminals travel long distances to countries such as Malawi and Zambia to consult traditional doctors so that they can evade arrest. Might this explain why there are many 'dingaka tsa Setswana" from non -Setswana speaking countries? Some of these even boldly advertise that they can help people to win court cases. We believe that criminals, trusting that they are fortified, become even more daring and dangerous.
We should not only deal with the thugs who visit these "inyangas' but we need to bring to justice the pranksters who claim to have power to help thugs escape the law. In any case, some of these are not even traditional doctors. Traditional doctors should be duly certified by relevant coordinating bodies.