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Defence Ministry relieves police of prosecuting duties

PINI BOTHOKO
Police in parade PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The performance of non-core duties by the police has been the Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s  concern over the years blaming such duties for hindering the police from performing their core functions.

Back in 2017, the Police commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe expressed the concern that their human resource was affected by the having to carry out some non-core duties giving an example of prosecution of cases and facilitation of traffic flow at traffic lights. 

Then, Makgophe said the BPS spent most of the time using its own resources in some duties not within their core mandate something that impacted  negatively on their human resources. “Such duties are not budgeted for when funds are allocated,” said Makgophe then.

However, the concern will be a thing for the past soon as the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security has taken a decision to relieve the BPS off prosecuting services.

 The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Matshidiso Bokole revealed the takeover of prosecutorial functions from the Police during the Ministerial budget update for the 2021/22 financial years this week. Bokole said the Ministry has decided to takeover of prosecutorial duties from the BPS because they (Police) are overwhelmed. She stated that currently the police are forced to investigate and prosecute cases thus hindering them from performing their core duties.

However, Bokole clarified that the DPP is an independent entity but as a Ministry their role is to help by providing strategic guidance and

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leadership at Ministry level. She said when it comes to how DPP prosecutes its cases the Ministry is not involved.  “They have prosecutor guided investigations in which when there is a case that is being prosecuted the prosecutor should have an investigation officer to help with the investigations for the success of the case.

The decision was taken following complaints that some cases where not thoroughly investigated,” she said.

Reached for a comment on this matter, the Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s public relations officer, assistant commissioner, Dipheko Motube applauded the Ministry for the move.

“What I can say is that we support this move because prosecuting cases and the facilitation of traffic flow at traffic lights has been the Service’s concern over the years,” Motube said.

On a different matter, Bokole said the Ministry has reserved funds to help Botswana Prison Services to carry out its rehabilitative farming project.

She said the project would contribute to the country’s food basket. “The Prison Services can greatly contribute by putting to work the good sets of hands in lock-up and help feed the nation. With the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the service has identified idle farms to be utilised,” she said.



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