‘Hit list’ for COVID-19 disciplined forces deductions?
- Police , BDF members say authorities are compiling a contributions list
- Worried that the list is a hit list for those who declined to contribute
- Prisons say they might not reach the P10 million mark made by Police and BDF
- Minister refutes existence of hit list
The controversial deductions from the disciplined forces may claim some casualties, most of whom are officers who declined to heed the authorities’ calls to contribute to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, sources at the Botswana Police and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) have hinted that the headquarters are already drawing up a list of those who did not contribute.
Police Spokesperson, Dipheko Motube told this publication he could not make comments on the hit list reports as he expects all grievances to be channelled through proper channels by those who are aggrieved.
Asked to confirm or deny whether they have requested for a list of those who did not contribute, Motube said he could not confirm or deny because welfare and salary issues are not discussed with the media but through established internal structures.
BDF and Botswana Police have raised over P20 million which was delivered to the government last week Wednesday. Compared to BDF, the Botswana Police is said to be the most hard-hit by contributions issues as most did not contribute. “We are told that the seniors are shocked at our non-compliance and ill-discipline. Our associates at the headquarters have informed us that they have seen our names on the hit list. If you know that you have not contributed and somebody tells you that they saw your name on the list of those who haven’t contributed the report becomes credible,” revealed a senior Police officer who preferred anonymity.
He said those who did not accede to the request for contributions are of the view that the authorities can do whatever they want to do with their names.
At the BDF, some soldiers are worried that they have not yet been told which fund the money was deducted from because some were requested to fill up forms that would deduct P100 from their salaries for the next six months. “Deductions are yet to commence. The question is where did they get the 10 million from. Another thing is if the contributions were voluntary why are they compiling lists of those who complied and those who did not,” said one soldier who preferred anonymity.
He said at the time of contributions, they already knew that the cheque is ready, “so where are the contributions going .The BDF should be transparent on these issues because as we speak some issues relating to our funds are before the courts,” revealed our source.
Efforts to speak to BDF were futile as their Spokesperson did not answer the phone. When asked about the seriousness of the reports, the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi in an interview with this publication said as far is he is concerned there is no such list.
“This was voluntary and as far as I know there are no such lists for people to be victimised. This I can say for sure,” he said.
Meanwhile the Botswana Prisons Service members are still collecting their contributions and will hand them in due course according to the Prisons Service Spokesperson, Wamorena Ramolefhe.
Ramolefhe said they might not hit the P10 million reached by the BDF and the Police Service as they are less in numbers compared to the two disciplines.
Recently the Leader of Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando wrote a letter to President Mokgweetsi Masisi calling him to intervene and stop the salary deductions of the disciplined forces to the COVID-19 relief fund. The request, it appears, has been unsuccessful.