Wednesday, January 26, 2022

BDF climbs down on interdicting officers facing drunken driving charges

The Botswana Defence Force has stopped its controversial policy of interdicting soldiers who have been charged with drunken driving.

This comes after complaints in some quarters that the soldiers were being punished twice by the act of interdicting them whilst they were at the same time facing criminal charges at the courts.

Halting of interdictions has been confirmed by a number of soldiers who declined to be named for reasons that they are not supposed to talk to the press.

“Yes interdiction has been lifted and we are happy that we are not being discriminated by punished twice,” one officer said.

The soldier said that the lifting of interdiction was communicated in a circular that was sent to all bases across the country and was welcomed by soldiers as a good move.

Interdiction of BDF members charged with drunken driving started two years ago under the current commander of BDF Gaolathe Galebotse, who is said to be a teetoller. He backed the move by stating that it was legal to do so under the BDF Act.

It is not known how many soldiers were interdicted under the process and all efforts to get information on the matter were fruitless as the BDF Public Relations Officer Major Collen Wesley Seema said it was an internal matter.

In a related matter government recently started publishing names of all drivers who had been charged with drunken driving in the government owned Daily New newspaper.

This step has however been criticized by some saying that it was a breach of privacy whilst those in favour say it is a welcomed move that might see lesser numbers of people driving whilst drunk.


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