Police make P342 million in traffic fines

  • P14m inappropriately used at Ipelegeng
  • Auditor General queries P14m paid to Ipelegeng
  • Local Gov Ministry owes BPS P9 million

GAZETTE REPORTER

Over the past nine years, Botswana Police Service (BPS) has made over P342 million in road traffic charges, parliament heard this week.
The Minister of Defence and Security Shaw Kgathi was responding to a question by Haskins Nkaigwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for Gaborone North.
The legislator wanted to know how the fund is managed as well as its current balance.
Kgathi said since inception, the fund accumulated P342 841 341.75, which was credited into the BPS accounts.
The fund is managed by the Registrar and Master of the High Court as authorised by Statutory Instrument No. 40 of 2009 (Road Traffic Fines Fund Order 2009) which came into operation on 1st April 2009, and as amended by Statutory Instrument No. 150 of 2014.
He said the funds have been used for procurement of vehicles by the BPS, conducting of road safety workshops and the purchase of Traffic law enforcement equipment.
A portion of the money, P14 million was allocated to the Ipelegeng social programme. Kgathi revealed that the Auditor General was unhappy about funds paid to the Ipelegeng Programme. In his defense, Kgathi said that the arrangement was to enable the Commissioner of Police to build police visibility across the country, at the village level, by increasing the numbers of police volunteers and special constables for dealing with challenges of crime, including stock theft.
The costs arising from paying salaries and allowances for police volunteers and special constables were settled on a reimbursable basis between Botswana Police Service (BPS) and Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development (MLG&RD). He said the imperatives of this arrangement were for the Commissioner of Police to determine and control turnaround times for the payment of salaries and allowances for police volunteers and special constables.”
During the financial year 2013/14 police volunteers and special constables were paid using proceeds of the funds as per the directive of the police commissioner who then made a claim to the Local government Ministry for reimbursement.
To him the understanding was that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development would always refund the Botswana Police through a Letter of Authority. This was determined as irregular by the Auditor General in 2013/14. In the final analysis of her determination, she directed that misallocation should be corrected.
It emerged that the Ministry of Local Government is yet to settle all the balance they have been irregularly allocated. Out of the P14 686 717, only P5 390 689 was adjusted by the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development to the Botswana Police Service, leaving an outstanding balance P9 296 028.
The 13th June 2018 closing balance of the BPS Traffic Fines Fund stood at P111 260 282. Of this amount, P100 314 674 has been committed by the BPS for the procurement of vehicles, motor cycles, traffic law enforcement equipment and other equipment.
The remaining P10 945 608 will be used for public education/campaigns and related activities aimed at reducing road traffic offences and accidents.

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