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Convicted Police officers barred

Staff Writer
At least 50 officers from the Local Police have been identified as having previous criminal convictions and will not be absorbed in the Botswana Police Service (BPS) as the merger between the two security services continue.

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse told Parliament yesterday that the officers were part of the 1,786 local policemen and women who were recently fingerprinted. He said the merger process is expected to be complete by the end of August.

Seretse was answering a question from the MP for Gaborone South, Akanyang Magama who wanted him to brief Parliament on progress made on the merger between the two police forces. The minister said that 71 Local Police officers are currently attending a four-week orientation programme before joining the Botswana Police Service. More are scheduled to go through the programme to qualify for the BPS. Seretse said that 153 new recruits have already joined the BPS. 

MPs wondered how the officers with convictions were allowed to work when they had criminal

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records. The minister said he was also surprised at the turn of events. He said that the two police forces have different laws hence it is not easy for convicted officers to join the BPS.  He said officers serving in the BPS are sacked upon being convicted. He explained that those who wish to resign were at liberty to do so and everything will be done to assist them to get their severence payments.

Meanwhile, the minister said that powers conferred on the District Commissioners for chairing Staff Committees in accordance with the provisions of Local Police Act will remain in force as long as the legislation has not been repealed or amended.  He said that the Local Police Act will ultimately be repealed once the merger process is complete.



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