Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

19 February 2009

Botswana: Police Turn to Traditional Doctors to Combact Crime

Selebi-Phikwe — Police have been urged to turn to traditional medicinemen to combat crime. Kabelo David made the call during a meting between the medicinemen and Selebi-Phikwe Police on Tuesday.

The medicineman asked the police if they had ever considered engaging or consulting traditional doctors in their search for elusive suspects or to solve difficult cases.

"Have you ever considered consulting traditional doctors to fight crime? You should show that you are committed to dealing with us to fight crime. If there is an elusive criminal, do you seek the assistance of traditional doctors?," he asked at a meeting called by the Selebi-Phikwe Police Station Commander, superintendent Victor Nlebesi to engage traditional doctors in the fight against crime.

The police boss appealed to traditional doctors to help them fight crime by reporting clients who seek concoctions to cover up their criminal activities or to commit crime.

Nlebesi said it is disturbing that there are misperceptions about traditional doctors, which have to be dispelled. He said they suspect that traditional healers are involved in assisting people commit crime, including procuring abortion.

"You must avoid illegal activities. You are crucial in assisting people with their problems, but not to destroy their lives," Nlebesi said.

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