Thursday, February 29, 2024

Botswana Police has two top vacancies

In less than a year after the deployment of the former Deputy Police Commissioner, Kenny Kapinga, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and who now serves as High Commissioner in South Africa, another Deputy Commissioner, Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi, has also been redeployed to run the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as Permanent Secretary.

There are two permanent top vacant positions that exist in the police that are expected to be filled.

Having recently settled the succession plan at the Botswana Defence Force, it will be fascinating to watch how President Khama will deal with the same matter at Botswana Police.

Last week, Khama appointed Major General Gaolathe Galebotswe to the position of BDF Deputy Commander, effectively making him a successor in waiting for the about-to-retire BDF commander, Lt. General Carter Masire.

Also promoted to become Head of Ground Forces was Gotsileene Morake, who also is now a Major General.

The recent promotions have effectively settled the BDF succession plan.

At Botswana Police, the two-year contract for the current Commissioner, Thebeyame Tsimako, ends next month.

The redeployment of Tsimako’s two deputies has raised eyebrows as to who will become Commissioner.
Sources suggest that the newly appointed Deputy Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgope who took over from Kapinga last year, is likely to be appointed the new police chief while some speculate that an outsider might scoop the position.

Information passed to The Telegraph suggests that by redeploying the two deputy commissioners, President Khama has also dismantled two warring factions that have long delayed the appointment of Tsimako’s successor as police chief.

It is understood that when Thebeyame Tsimako wanted to retire, Khama extended his stay with a two-year contract because of the infighting.

So far, there are three female senior officers who could be appointed to the post of Deputy Commissioner.

These are Dr Magora who heads the Forensic Division; Dinah Marathe, Divisional Commander North, and Maluti Gabasitwe, the Director of Police College.

The redeployment of Bagopi to become the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs makes him the first police officer to be promoted to the position of PS.

“I never thought I could be promoted to become a PS in my life,” said Bagopi in an interview.

When asked whether he had differences with Kapinga, his response was that there had never been any deep personal differences between him and Kapinga.

“That could have led the Police Commissioner to mediate,” he said, explaining that people should understand that in any organization, people may have a difference of opinion and may disagree on certain instances. “That does not mean that there is a rift between individuals.”

However, Bagopi says he leaves the Police Service as a proud man because of the contributions that he made for its development right from origin.

“Personally, I wish the president would choose from the best men and women that are police officers or somebody who understands the police service as a whole,” said Bagopi.

He added that the appointment of any officer who will fill his position should be based on merit and not necessarily on gender issues.

“I know it would not be easy to work with civilians because of my background but I am hoping that I will serve my people and, through their support and the ministry, will still be able to deliver its mandate.”


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