Sunday, January 29, 2023

Guma’s sacking an indictment on investigators’ inefficiency

President Ian Khama’s recent and rare admission that he was misled when he fired former assistant minister of finance and development planning Samson Moyo Guma from cabinet is a serious indictment on the professionalism and efficiency of the country’s investigation and crime busting agencies.

The admission by the president gives a clear glimpse on the ineffectiveness of the authorities which feed the president and his government with information.

It would not be far-fetched if we were to conclude or assume that there could be other people who have suffered fates similar to that of Guma because the relevant officers had supplied unsubstantiated information.

The only difference would be that such cases have not come to the public domain.

The dangers associated with such shoddy work by these authorities may be very costly to the nation when scores of lawsuits are instigated against government by aggrieved parties.

In this particular case, it is fortunate that Guma has put the interest of the nation first by deciding not to sue for damages arising from the trauma he and his family were subjected to on the back of the misinformation.

We are aware that these agencies are vested with the powers to investigate and even prosecute wrong doers but if their professionalism is doubtful, there are potential dangers of a flood gate of suits that can come at heavy cost to the tax payer.

We have always believed that the investigating agencies were so thorough that before they arraigned people before the courts or supplied information to their principals, they had satisfied themselves that they had closed all the gaps and satisfied themselves that their conclusions were beyond doubt.

The number of people who are being acquitted because of lack of evidence by our courts is uncomfortably high. At times judicial officers have gone on record to say that the cases brought before them were not properly investigated.

These incidents call for serious introspection on the capability of our investigation and crime busting agencies.

It may be by sheer luck that the number of cases for malicious prosecutions in this country is not on the increase.

This particular incident gives an insight that most probably the country’s investigators are ill-equipped to do their job.

We therefore call for proper training of the officers to avert recurrences of incidents of this nature.

It would be sad to discover that a lot of people are rotting in our jails for offences they have not committed especially that the larger part of the nation is not educated and is so poor as to afford services of lawyers.

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