- BPS says decision is meant to encourage officers to vaccinate in large numbers
- There are objections to the decision within BPS
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has reportedly taken a decision to bar unvaccinated officers from work. The Botswana Gazette is reliably informed that the decision was taken recently upon realisation that officers were taking COVID-19 jabs in low numbers.
Sources close to the development say the decision is meant to encourage more police officers to get vaccinated because police work entails interacting with members of the public.
According to an insider, senior officers of BPS had stood their ground in the face of criticism of the decision in certain sections of the force. “We understand that the COVID-19 vaccine is meant to save us but we should not be forced to take it,” said an officer opposed to the decision who cannot be identified.
“Taking the jab has to be an individual’s choice. We raised objection to the decision but were told that no one should come to work before taking the jab.”
The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) expressed concerns about declined numbers since just before independence when Phase Two of the vaccine rollout started. Initially it attributed low numbers to the Independence holiday, the slack has continued long after.
Upon being contacted, BPS spokesman Dipheko Motube deferred to the COVID-19 Task Force. “We cannot comment on that because anything related to COVID-19 is better known by the Presidential Task Force,” Motube said.
The Coordinator of the Task Force, Dr Kereng Masupu, was yet to respond to questions sent to his phone at the time of going to press.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said there are relevant laws can be applied on people who do not take vaccines and that this would be discussed if the need arose.