16 November 2001

Botswana: New Pay Structure for Botswana Police

Gaborone — The Commissioner of Police, Norman Moleboge, said on Tuesday that the government has taken a decision to develop a new pay structure for the police.

Addressing the 30th Botswana Police Annual Senior Officer's Conference in Gaborone, Moleboge said he is in the process of working on a pay structure report to be submitted to the government for consideration. He said hardwork, commitment and self-sacrifice by members of the Botswana Police Service had won many hearts of the communities they serve.

Moleboge explained that since 1984, winning public confidence and promoting partnership with the community had always been among the critical objectives the police had set to achieve.

He applauded the public for the continued support they relentlessly offered to the police, adding that the prevailing political stability, law and order should be jealously preserved for the good of "our" economy and the whole nation.

The police chief deplored the rising crime-rate, which he said was aggravated by information technology and transport systems which criminals exploited. Moleboge noted that to counter criminality, the Police Service had responded by embracing the Performance Improvement concept with a view to critically examine procedures, practices and policies to improve performance.

Moleboge said trans-national and violent crimes were on the increase, citing the horrendous events of the September 11 in the United States of America. He said terrorist attacks on America had now acted as an awakening call to all law enforcement agencies across the globe. This, he said, called for more information sharing across and within law enforcement agencies.

Moleboge said that while traffic accidents have dropped from 16922 cases in 1999 to 16313 last year fatalities on the road continue to rise substantially. A total of 494 people lost their lives in 1999 and the figure rose to 529 last year.

"Even though fatalities increased, I still believe that without highway patrols, speed checks and accident reduction roadblocks, we would have registered more accidents and lost many more lives than shown by our current records," he said.

The Police Commissioner said road carnage in Botswana is a result of drunken driving, speeding, domestic animals on the roads, unlicensed drivers and to a larger extent unserviceable vehicles.

Accidents arising from domestic animals accounted for 14.1 percent of which 10.5 percent resulted in deaths. Second to domestic animals are the public service drivers whom he said seem to create their own procedures and systems with little regard to the current regulations. "We need to work hard to align them and make them appreciate the need to abide by the law at all times," he said.

Moleboge added that in a bid to improve road safety, the Road Traffic Act is currently under review to accommodate the current shift in traffic technology and industry. The consultants assigned to this project have so far completed the first phase, which involved a task reviewing the present Road Traffic Act and putting forward broad proposals for change.

On developments, Moleboge said the Police Service was allocated about P800 million during National Development Plan 8. He said most of the NDP 8 have successfully been implemented. (* Near Bagali is with the public relations unit of the Botswana Police Service)

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