A 44-year-old man, Kebatsetse Kenyaditswe, of Mhalapitsa village in Tswapong South constituency is suing the Botswana Police Service (BPS) for P5 million for disclosing his identity as an informer which resulted in him losing his job.
The BPS has since confirmed that it intends to take disciplinary action against the alleged officer who disclosed Kenyaditswe’s identity as an informer. Due to this mishap, Kenyaditswe said he would never forgive BPS regarding how they handled his confidential information which resulted in him losing a job. Kenyaditswe said he was concerned about how many people had been humiliated “by the police thinking that they are protected to fight crime.”
“Although I want to sue BPS for P5m for their unwarranted action, the most challenging thing is that I do not have funds to engage a lawyer to argue my case before the court of law. I hope that a Good Samaritan will come forth to assist me with the case. I was employed at Tlotlo hotel as a waiter for about 10 months before I got fired due to mishandling of vital information by the police,” he said.
It all started after he suspected his employer was trading in stolen beef.
“I questioned myself several times as to where these carcasses were coming from and why they were brought in during the night. It is common knowledge that livestock is not allowed to be transported at night, but only during the day,” he said.
He said he was not comfortable during that day because of what he saw in the cold room and strongly believed that the hotel might have bought stolen cattle unaware.
He explained that “sometime late last year I called 999 and I was answered by a certain lady from Gaborone Central Police whom I asked several times whether my identity would be protected if I could give them a tip off.”
He said after he got assurance that his identity would be kept safe, he then disclosed his identity including his cell number to the officer. After narrating the story to the officer, he was told that the Gaborone West police station would call him and that his identity would not be compromised.
Kenyaditswe said he was later called to the office where he found police officers as well as the hotel management waiting for him.
“I got upset when one of the officers asked me to go and show him where the beef was being kept. I told him that I did not know what he was talking about. They then asked me if i was Kenyaditswe who had called the police,” he said.
Kenyaditse added that “I was devastated by the action of the police and I failed to defend myself as the management was now convinced that I was the person who had called the police. The writing was on the wall – I had just lost my job”.
He is appealing to any lawyer to assist him to take up the case. This publication is in possession of a letter from the ministry of Defense, Justice and Security dated 16th February 2015 which states that “the BPS investigated the matter as reported and found your report to be true.”
The letter states that the police were negligent in their handling of the matter, as a result the police officer sergeant Mosiakoko “to whom you reported was charged and has appeared before the disciplinary board to answer charges of discreditable conduct on the 28th January 2015.”
Contacted for comment the director of the Tlotlo hotel, Antonia Maginda, confirmed that they were investigated by the police after one of their employers had reported “that we bought stolen cattle. The allegations were not true as the police found nothing.”
She said what annoyed them the most was that the police came and raided the hotel and took some of the hotel employees for questioning but they also found nothing.
“What breaks my heart is the fact that it seems there are some high profile people that want to see my hotel closing down,” she said.
Gaborone West station commander superintendent Agreement Mapeu said “it is true that there were those claims suggesting that Tlotlo hotel was buying stolen cattle.”
He stated that the police went to the hotel but unfortunately they found no incriminating evidence.