The Botswana Police Service has yet again released another multimillion pula tender for police uniforms for the Special Support Group, commonly known as SSG.
This was confirmed by the Deputy Police Commissioner, Ikotlhaeng Bagopi, during an interview with Sunday Standard.
He explained that because of numerous complaints that they received sometime ago when they introduced a new SSG uniform, they came to the conclusion that it must be changed to a better colour.
He said the uniform will cost the government over P10 million and the tender was won by a company called Kalahari Fashions Pty. Ltd.
He added that there will be another uniform, a patrol uniform that will also be introduced within the organization.
Bagopi said that particular uniform will be specifically for patrols only, adding that he hoped that the company will speed up the delivery of both the SSG and the patrol uniforms.
However, he strongly dismissed allegations that the police management is planning to replace the police uniforms introduced only last year.
“This (current) uniform is very new therefore we are not going to replace it,” he said. “We knew that they would be some problems associated with the uniform and those problems will be addressed thoroughly.”
Bagopi, however, admitted that the current uniform loses its colour and that, as the police management, they are aware of that.
He said they have formed a committee that is looking at all the defects that the uniform has, adding that they had already identified some defects that the uniform has and that they will be consulting with clothes experts on how to solve the identified defects.
Bagopi appealed to the public, saying that they should be patient and eventually the uniform problem will be resolved.
However, several police officers, who refused to be identified, told Sunday Standard that “the uniform is just below standard; it loses its colour easily”.
They suggested that though the government has lost millions, it is not too late for the government to reconsider changing the uniform to a better cloth.
“We appeal to the government to hear our cry, especially those who are stationed in remote areas where we use borehole water,” they said.