Armed and violent criminals must be flushed out

It needs to be noted that in the last two years, this country has been subjected to a spate of armed robbers, where in some instances precious lives were lost and huge sums of money taken through aggression and violence. It became a national calamity that needed urgent intervention. One needs to commend our security forces for having moved swiftly to contain the situation. A number of culprits were arrested, while some were shot and killed during crossfire.

I still remember some incidents where such violent acts were committed by merciless criminals. An incident happened in Palapye where an innocent person who had gone to one of the food stores and was on his phone not knowing that there was a robbery going on, was shot and killed because the robbers thought he was calling the police. At Boatle a businessman was abducted, robbed and killed by robbers; in Gaborone a Cab operator was lured by criminals who pretended to be potential customers and he was murdered; still in Gaborone, a Chinese businessman and a security guard were killed by people who had ambushed them at their home in Phase Two; just recently, a white farmer has allegedly have been raped; robbed; killed and her car burnt by senseless criminals. There is no doubt that these acts and many others, send panic waves into the nation and indeed our police service.

We ought to agree that as a people, we want to feel safe all the time as we go about our daily lives. We cannot allow a bunch of gangsters to make us live under an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Most of the perpetrators of acts of crime nowadays are armed and dangerous criminals who carry weapons of war in their operations. This surely puts our security forces and the public at great danger of being hurt by these ruthless creatures.

What is appalling is that we have people amongst us who are quick to blame security agents when they shoot and kill a criminal in self defence. When an armed criminal shoots at the police, the police are within their rights to defend themselves by any means possible. Yes, the police should expend all other options before they can shoot at a criminal. But sometimes the criminals will not give you that luxury of thinking of anything else, and under pressure, he shoots and kills the culprit.

It is astonishing that those who accuse police of shooting suspects in such instances seem not to have sympathy for victims of violent crimes and their families. It seems to them criminals have more rights than victims. How bizarre! Our streets should be rid of elements who think terrorising other people, and engulfing the whole nation in fear is a virtue. Our streets should be safe and secure to allow people to live in harmony. We cannot afford to overload criminals with so many rights at the expense of the peace of the innocent.
Banks Ndebele