It is almost a year after the abolishment of the Local Police Service and its assimilation into Botswana Police Service.
But the tribal leaders are now describing the situation as “chaotic” since the departure of the Local Police while, on the other hand, the government says it is busy recruiting court bailiffs to take over the duties of the departed local police.
Some tribal leaders are expressing disappointment after the local police were taken away.
“I wonder why the government decided to abolish local police,” said Kgosi Mmirwa Malema of Babirwa. “Right now there are no people to send to execute court duties.”
He said much of the chaos within tribal offices throughout the country can be attributed to the government, which is yet to replace the officers who can perform the duties we used to delegate to local police officers.
The government knew very well that they were supposed to have contingent plans before abolishing the local police; now we have a problem of who to send or ask to perform those chores that the local police used to undertake. The government did not have Plan B.”
Malema said he had already communicated with his superiors in Gaborone expressing his disappointment.
Kgosi David Toto of Tsabong concurred with Malema.
“My office has been experiencing problems since the departure of our local police,” said Toto. “This has made our job very difficult.”
He said in a few months, they will be provided with court bailiffs to execute court duties.
“I wonder whether the court bailiffs will execute court duties as well as the local police officers did,” he said.
The Deputy Director of the Tribal Administration, Tumelo Seboko, said that it is true that since the local police were abolished last year, the situation at tribal offices throughout the country is experiencing some problems.
“We are aware of the problem and, as we speak, the problem is being addressed.”
Seboko said his department is on a recruitment exercise in which a good number of court bailiffs, who will not work as police officers, are being prepared to undertake court duties.
“The department will recruit over 1 000 court bailiffs who will be deployed throughout the country to execute court duties,” he said, adding that they had wanted to recruit a bigger number but were hampered by lack of funds.
Among those to be deployed are some who were not absorbed into Central police services and some of them will also be deployed as court bailiffs.
He said that tribal leaders should not panic as the department is doing something to address the matter.
“The department is transforming therefore people should also accept new changes and such transformations are done to the benefit of both the department and the public to improve the quality and work performance,” he said.