The Minister for Defense, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi told Parliament yesterday that the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) uniform upkeep allowance was not for all soldiers but for officers of the rank of second Lieutenant to Lieutenant General.
He was answering a question from MP for Tlokweng, Kenneth Segokgo who wanted to know why the uniform upkeep allowance in the BDF was discontinued and if it will be reinstated in the near future.
The Minister said the BDF officers may purchase service and ceremonial uniform. On why the Upkeep Uniform Allowance was discontinued, Kgathi explained that the uniform allowance had to be discontinued as the BDF opted to provide all uniform free of charge to its members.
Since the BDF was established through the Act of Parliament, one of the questions Segokgo wanted to know why the discontinuation decision was made since
To that end the Kgathi said that the Parliament was not informed because in actual fact no right or privilege was taken away in this regard. He said stopping of uniform allowance did not at all deny the soldiers access to their uniform as it was being provided to them freely.
On whether soldiers who used their money for uniform upkeep will be reimbursed, the Minister said he was not aware of any soldier who used their money to purchase any uniform and that such occurrence would be unauthorised and out of procedure.