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Police To Return Prosecuting Powers To DPP

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  • DPP has begun recruitment process
  • Separation of DPP from AG’s due

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Botswana Police Service (BPS) will return all prosecuting powers to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) effective April 1st 2020, the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi, has confirmed.

ccording to Minister Mmusi, this will allow the police to focus on their primary mandate of combating and investigating crime. This development comes against the background of BPS grievances that most of its workforce was caught in between investigating cases and prosecuting.

“You should remember that this was agreed as far back as 2008,” Mmusi said an interview with The Botswana Gazette this week.

“But due to many challenges such as lack of manpower and resources, it could not be done. What I can confirm is that the DPP has been floating adverts around, and they are in the process of recruiting more manpower. This has been catered for in the budget. We intend to implement our plan of action effective April 1st.”

But the minister pointed out that the process would take a few years to complete. In recent years, the DPP complained of a serious shortage of prosecutors in its employ. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in 2018, DPP Director Stephen Tiroyakgosi disclosed that they desperately needed more prosecutors as they (then) had around 150 for 8600 cases, meaning 450 cases per prosecutor, saying this delayed progress in prosecuting cases.

“The workable number would be 65 cases per prosecutor, and resources permitting, we will need 200 prosecutors,” he said. Meanwhile, Mmusi has confirmed briefing heads of his departments on his ministry’s transformational agenda. He explained as entailing separation of the DPP from the Attorney General’s Chambers, establishment of a judicial training college, establishment of family and child protection units within the Botswana Police Service, establishment of a reserve force within the Botswana Defence Force and a future rationalisation of the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security.

The minister admitted that money laundering and financing of terrorism were some of Botswana’s main challenges. “As the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, we should be a benchmark for effective coordination,” he said. “This is the key for achievement of a safe, secure and prosperous nation, and will enable the average Motswana at home to realise the return on investment in taxpayers money allocated to this ministry. In order to achieve this, we have to invest in discovering new potential and of course maintain and improve systems that work.”

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