Gaborone lawyer Dick Bayford has accused the Ministry of Justice, Defence and Security of dragging feet in formation Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID). “This is really pathetic. It seems the Ministry does not see the importance of such an instrument in helping the country to have a transparent and democratic society”, he said. Bayford who is currently suing the government on behalf of Costa Kalafatis, a Gaborone man who was last year allegedly shot and injured by members of Botswana Police Service says that if the Ministry had recognized the importance of having such a body, she could have moved fast to have it up and running. More worrying she said are reports from state prosecutors that reports of police killings and torture are continuing to pile in offices across the country and it is not clear whether or not they are being adequately investigated.
Denying the accusations, Makgonatsotlhe, said the delay was simply caused by the fact that coming up with such an instrument takes time. “Such an important instrument cannot be made over night unfortunately. That is what people should know”, he said. However, he said that they have made big progress on the issue as they have already consulted with all those needed to consult, bench marked on it “and as we talk we are working on presenting it to the cabinet for approval then it will go to Parliament to be made into law.” Makgonatsotlhe said government was eager to see it up and operating because “we are a law abiding government which believes in transparency”, he said. Besides that, he said that the institution will free police who are now carrying out investigations on their colleagues to do other important policing jobs and free them from accusations that do shoddy job of investigations to cover each other.