'Missing people' do not always go missing

Botswana, which is a small country by population, has been experiencing a large number of missing persons.

Every year the police record high numbers of people who go missing. But are these cases genuine or it is just a case of a naughty girl who has sneaked out to go and see her boyfriend? According to the police, 800 people were reported missing in the country since last year. Most of them were found alive. Statistics from the police show that out of this number, 658 were found alive and 47 dead. Seventy six are still missing.

Botswana Police public relations officer (PRO), Assistant Commissioner, Chris Mbulawa, considers cases of missing people to be "a complex matter". He says, though, that the rate of recovery has been "very high".  The police are always disturbed when people go missing.  "One case is just too many.  I think the situation could be minimised if people can take personal security as a priority," said the police chief. Mbulawa said circumstances under which people go missing vary.  Some people who were reported "missing" had actually not disappeared.   Some involve young girls who would be whiling away time with their boyfriends.  Mbulawa spoke about one such case when a young lady was reported to be missing. After the police had announced that the young lady was missing, she came out of her "hiding place" to warn the police them that she was not a "lost cow".  Apparently, she was having a good time with her boyfriend. The young lady had informed one of the relatives about her whereabouts but they did not want to confront her boyfriend. They decided to report her as a missing person. Mbulawa spoke about another case in which a young man went to Gantsi to have fun for a week. He was shocked when he returned to find that people were looking for him.

Editor's Comment
Urgent call: Stop the killing!

The previous week, we had an article about a police officer shooting his wife, and turning the gun on himself, whilst he died, his wife survived and is still in the hospital.Sadly that was not the only article we carried on intimate partner killings. There was the Francistown case, where a young woman allegedly stabbed her ‘former boyfriend’ and many others which were reported throughout the week.As all the reports were coming in, a Botswana...

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