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Prison superintendent escapes demotion

A prison official, holding a rank of superintendent has escaped being demoted from his rank after he appealed his sentence. The officer, Badwell Samunzala was convicted on charges of tempering and defacing an entry in an official document for a price increase in tender in 2016.

He was charged for contravening Section 46 (1) of the Prisons Act by seeking to alter the decision of the Ministerial Tender Committee without reasonable cause.

Subsequently to the charges he was demoted to the rank of assistant superintendent by the permanent secretary (PS), despite making representation to show cause why he should not be demoted. Following his demotion, Samunzala took an appeal to the Prison Council through his lawyer Othusitse Mbeha.

Among the grounds of appeal, the officer wanted the initial punishment of 1/3 of his one-month salary by the Board of Enquiry be approved and the decision of disranking be set aside.

The prison council on the May 23, 2018 made its final decision after reviewing the case and confirmed his reduction of his one-month salary and his demotion set aside.

According to the background of the case, following the officer’s charge he was arraigned before the board of enquiries

to answer for his charge. After pleading guilty to the charge, a punishment of reduction in one-month salary was recommended to the PS.

According to the documents, upon the receipt of the recommended charge, the PS slapped him with demotion.

“Having taken all the relevant factors into account he was convicted on his own plea and sentenced to a punishment of reduction in rank from Superintendent to Assistant effective March 1, 2018,” read the papers.

Particulars of the offence are that on October 4, 2017 at Prison Staff College he defaced an entry in an official document by overwriting August 23, 2016 on effective date August 2, 2017 for a price increase in Tender for the supply of food items by Unite Botswana approved by Ministerial Tender Committee on PPADB dated September 7, 2017 without reasonable cause thereby seeking to alter the decision of the Ministerial Tender Committee.






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