Parliament has requested the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi to train and employ special constables who have been in service for five years or less.
Commenting on the ministry’s recurrent budget last week, Members of Parliament (MPs) agreed that it was important for the police service to train special constables into formal police, instead of “employing people outside”.
Nkange MP, Edwin Batshu, who is also the minister of Labour and Home Affairs, said it is important for departments and companies to take its staff members for further training or to schools.
“There is no one today who can doubt that special constables are diligent workers. The reason why the Botswana Police Service is keeping them is that they help a lot to fight crime in this country. I plead with the minister to consider training them to become the real police officers,” Batshu said.
Assistant Minister for Local Government and Rural Development and MP for Mahalapye East, Botlogile Tshireletso said the welfare of special constables should be reviewed.
“It’s time that special constables earn better salaries. They should be able to take loans and buy cars like other employees. We need to appreciate their work as the government moreso that every MP is concerned about their welfare.
I also share the same sentiments with Minister Batshu that a certain percentage of constables should be taken for training every year but it should be done in a transparent way,” Tshireletso said.
The MPs were responding to Kgathi’s statement that crime is on the decrease, despite recorded increase in violent crime like armed robberies, homicides, road fatalities and abuse of drugs by youth.
“The recent statistics indicate general crime reduction by 6.6 percent. Significant reductions were recorded in respect of violent and intrusive crimes, which comprise robbery and attempts, house breaking and theft, burglary and theft, store breaking and theft, murder and attempts, threat to kill, stock theft and theft of motor vehicle.
Overall statistics in this category of offences went down by 6.4 percent, however increases were recorded in road violations, which rose by two percent and theft of motor vehicles, which rose by 51 percent,” Kgathi said.