- Minister states: “We cannot allow such a situation to happen”
- Applications for firearm licences reach an unprecedented 32 000
- Minister notes growing perception of self-protection as a necessity
An unprecedented 32,000 applications for firearms inundate Botswana Police Service in 2023, raising concerns about potential threats to national security.
Speaking to journalists at his office in Gaborone recently, the Minister of Defence and Security, Kagiso Mmusi, said the surge in requests for firearms licences is due to a growing public perception that self-protection is becoming a pressing necessity.
However, he expressed concern about the potential fallout of widespread civilian gun ownership, saying it could lead to chaos and uncontrollable situations.
Firmly rejecting the idea of arming ordinary citizens, Minister Mmusi stated: “We cannot allow such a situation to happen. The government is committed to maintaining a peaceful country.”
Proposing an alternative approach, the minister spoke of strengthening private security companies with comprehensive training in firearm handling rather than empowering individuals with firearms.
He said entrusting such responsibilities to the private sector will ensure proper monitoring and accountability, with the added benefit of creating employment opportunities for Batswana.
Private security licensing board
Minister Mmusi expressed confidence in the private security licensing board and its role in facilitating firearm licencing.
He emphasised the board’s importance in establishing robust systems and processes, citing legal provisions for the arming of private companies.
The minister iterated that the ministry’s top priority is ensuring the safety and security of Botswana and its people.