While former police commissioners Simon Hirschfield, Edwin Batshu and Norman Moleboge feel that the time is right for Botswana to have a female police commissioner, they insist that she should be appointed on merit and not because of her gender.
The former police bosses said last week that Botswana will have made great strides if she appoints a female police commissioner, especially since there are a number of able police women who can lead the police force.
There is every likelihood that the incumbent commissioner,
Thebeyame Tsimako, might retire very soon, and another police commissioner appointed mid next year. The former police commissioners therefore feel that the time is right for government to appoint a female police chief.
“I would love to see a woman being appointed as police commissioner. But I will have a problem if the tried and tested criteria of appointment on merit and set procedures is compromised for the sake of gender,” said the first Motswana police Commissioner, Simon Hirschfeldt.
He, however, said that he is confident that a number of women in the police force have the requisite capabilities to become commissioners.
Norman Moleboge concurs with Tsimako, saying that police officers are not promoted on gender bases but only on capability.
Edwin Batshu also shares the same sentiments, saying that it is high time Botswana appoints a female police commissioner. He said there are capable women who can now lead the police force.
“I joined the service in 1970, and a year later female officers were recruited into the service. Therefore I would not even object to their appointment,” said Batshu.
So far there are about three most senior female commissioners in the service who could take over from Tsimako.
The most senior commissioner is Selame Janki who joined the service 34 years ago and managed to rise through the ranks to become senior assistant commissioner. However, age is not on her side as she has just reached the compulsory retirement age.
Another most senior police woman is Dr Helen Magoraage, 45, who heads the police forensic science lab. She joined the service in 1988. The police service has invested a lot in her, as she was sent for further studies until she acquired her PhD.
However, she has never been on the field, as she spends most of her time in the lab.
The Director of Police College, Pauline Gabositwe, 47, is also a potential commissioner. She joined the service in 1991 after she completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Botswana. She also spends most of her time at the college.
The most two suitable candidates will either become commissioners or deputy commissioners when Tsimako retires.