Some members of the BaZezuru community trading at the Gaborone Bus Rank are accusing Borakanelo Police officers of sexual┬áharassment and of tempering with their businesses.
They accuse the police of actually intruding┬áon their privacy.
Most of the traders, mostly women, sell pillows, traditional herbs and other goods.
One of the traders, Revester Munuweyi, said that the police are always intimidating┬áthem, accusing them of trading goods┬áusing foreign currency and usually search them in an unethical manner to the extent of going into their private parts, which they say is against their culture.
“You see that I am an old woman, 54 years old, but the young constable just reaches in and searches in my underwear, inside my bra and everywhere, forcing me to admit that I am trading and exchanging foreign currency which is not true. They always threaten to lock us up in their cells,” said Munuweyi.
She said that, sometimes, the police just come and take 10 or 15 of them and charge them P200 each but if they demand to know why, the officers tell them to go and report to their superiors.
“But when we approach their bosses, they keep on sending us from pillar to post with no answer or action taken,” she said.
Acting Borakanelo Police Station Commander, Assistant Superintendent Douglas Moagaesi, denied the accusations, saying that BaZezuru are just like any other suspects and are searched by Police Women’s wing and there is no way their privacy is undermined.
Moagaesi said most of the culprits are charged with unlawful transaction of currency and are normally fined P200.
“We always send our Intelligence Officers to conduct investigations before we pounce on them,” said Moagaesi.