The Botswana Police Service (BPS) has revealed that a total of 11 police officers have been suspended-pending investigations, due to their involvement in a number of criminal activities.
According to BPS Spokesperson Near Bagali, Police Commisioner Keabetswe Makgophe last week, ordered the suspensions of the 11 officers after they were implicated in numerous illegal activities. He revealed that some of the offenses that the officers were accused of included allegations of corruption and bribery. The officers involved are said to be based in Thamaga, Mogoditshane and Ramotswa.
“I can confirm that the Commissioner took a decision to suspend 11 officers last week for unethical conduct while on duty. The matter is still an internal matter and we are still investigating it further,” Bagali told this publication. When pressed for further details, Bagali added that “Although, I cannot dwell too much on the cases at this moment, what we can confirm is that the said police officers are being investigated for corruption crimes such as bribery. The police officers involved are based in Thamaga, Mogoditshane and Ramotswa.” he added.
Bagali also said that the suspension of the officers is a clear indication of the Botswana Police’s efforts to restore the public’s trust and confidence in the local law enforcement agency. “We saw it fit to take such steps as we also want to show people that the Botswana Police Service is professional organ of repute. We have a Police Act that guides every police man and woman out there and should be respected and followed at all times. We cannot be law enforcers and at the same time we are seen to be doing the opposite. Imagine the damage that is done by a police officer being caught or involved in such an illegal act. We also promise that we will be cracking the whip more.”
Explaining the process of internal investigatons Bagali stated “Like I said, we have a Police Act that governs all police officers and it is stated clearly in there that if one is caught involved in such cases, they are dismissed with immediate effect. But at this point we cannot draw conclusions, the matter will be investigated fully and then a disciplinary hearing will be conducted and a verdict will be granted.”
The Police Head of Communication also told The Botswana Gazette that among the 11 suspended officers were some those who were recently caught on camera receiving bribes on the videos that were circulating on social media last week. He would however not allow himself to be drawn into commenting on whether the police were secretly part of the team that exposed the ‘greedy cops’.