The Criminal Investigation Department, commonly known as CID, is said to be on the brink of collapse following massive resignations of well experienced detectives.
The recent resignations include those of Mr. Tsaone Mokane, who was the head of the crime intelligence unit, followed by that of the head of Diamond Squad, Monthusi Ben, and that of Alfred Nthata, head of the Fraud Unit at Serious Crime Squad.
They are heading for the private sector.
Sunday Standard investigations reveal that, on average, about 15 detectives resign every year or retire early because of frustration.
The investigation revealed that, on average, a detective handles about 25 to 30 cases at any given time while, internationally, a good detective is allowed to handle about 10 cases.
This paper also found out that, currently, police officers are reluctant to join CID because progression is very slow though there are posts within the branch.
Further, once an officer is in plain clothes, the detective is given an allowance of P168 monthly and the detectives say “it can not even buy a shirt”.
Our investigations revealed that CID in each station only has about two vehicles that they use daily but if the cars breakdown it becomes a disaster.
Further, some officers prefer to be general duty officers because they are given police uniforms instead of using their plain clothes.
“There is a very serious problem at CID though the branch is broad,” said former detective superintendent, Thabo Mmopimang, once head of the Fraud Unit at Serious Crime Squad and the only officer trained as a computer forensic examiner.
Mmopimang explained that he worked at Serious Crime before and challenged this reporter to go and look at how the offices look like, comparing the place to a pigsty.
He said once the branch has no proper equipment, results should not be expected but massive resignation of officers.
“By looking at all serious problems that the branch is having, one will come to the conclusion that CID has collapsed.”
Some serving officers, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Sunday Standard that once one becomes a CID officer, progression is slower when compared to general duty officers.
They further blamed the commissioners for not doing enough to equip the branch with resources that can meet the current sophistication employed by criminals.
“As I speak to you now,” said one, “CID is left with very little experienced officers who, by the end of 2011, will retire from the service. What will happen after that?”
He said it takes about 4 to 5 years to develop a detective but if well trained officers leave who then will guide incoming detectives?
“This is a very serious matter that needs agent attention.”
They suggested that a commission of enquiry be set up to investigate what went wrong.
The former director of CID and now the director of Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo, said, “During my time, I achieved my greatest goals, which include the establishment of a forensic lab and a public relations unit.”
Katlholo said he unearthed the Botswana Housing Corporation scandal and the case is pending before court.
“Since I left CID to join DCEC, I have never evaluated CID, therefore, I have nothing to say whether the unit has collapsed or not.”
He, however, said something must be done as soon as possible before the country falls into a disaster.
Kenny Kapinga, who is now deputy police commissioner, said, “I directed CID for less than two years in which my plans could not bear much fruit.”
The first woman in Botswana police history to head CID, Mrs. Mbulawa, said, “In my view, CID has never collapsed because they are able to detect or prevent crime before it happens.”
However the director of CID, Wilmon Karahindi, strongly denied that his department had collapsed.