The country has over the past few months experienced a spate of cash-in-transit heists that took place in Gaborone and surrounding areas.
Following the incidents, the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security last week issued a statement to discuss the challenges and agree on the way forward. There was promise of intensified collaboration, sharing of information and intelligence amongst all the role players.
We would like to say we have already seen the results as the police nabbed robbers shortly after they robbed a G4S vehicle near an FNB ATM. That is commendable as much as what would happen later in the day, the police arresting yet another set of robbers who robbed a Chinese shop at the Gaborone station. We however plead that the intelligence community and all armed forces should put in extra effort to nip the problem in the bud. One would have assumed there would be peace for at least a few months following the ugly incidents and arrests. But alas, armed robbers even went ahead to bomb an ATM later at Bokaa. This could only raise suspicions that an organised syndicate is at work and security operatives need to do more.
It is also evident that there are plenty of guns on the streets. This makes it even more dangerous to citizens as they could end up being casualties with these robberies taking place daylight in built up areas like malls.
It is high time relevant authorities fight the proliferation of illegal firearms. It is towards the festive season and we know it is around this time robbers become brutal and even rob people in their homes.
We further call on the security companies to put their heads together and come up with better means to safeguard the monies and properties they are entrusted with. This includes hiring well-trained and disciplined individuals to minimise risks.
The business community should also follow set up procedures on how to handle money. Security companies should be used to help with banking rather than business owners taking large sums of money to their houses. This attracts thieves who launch attacks that in some instances result in loss of lives. As for Batswana, we have a role to play. It all starts with us policing our neighbours and ourselves. We should report any suspicious vehicles/ persons in our surroundings. We should also do what we can in assisting authorities with information.
We live with these criminals and always see them after doing the bad deeds, but we do not report them. They could be going to harm your friends or family next. Most importantly, let’s stay safe and avoid being shot.
“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
– Mother Teresa