The Minister for Defense, Justice and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse, has told the Dikgosi about the need for Batswana to protect tourists so as for the nation to maintain a good reputation.
Seretse explained that criminals who attack tourists cause the reduction of people who visit our country.
Responding to a question asked by Kgosi Mmualefhe Mmualefhe at the Ntlo ya Dikgosi on Friday whether the Minister was aware that Police Officers in the Chobe West Region operate as security guards at hotels instead of mounting patrols, Seretse confirmed that he was aware of the deployment of Police Officers at hotels and tourist destinations in the Chobe West region. “You may be aware that Chobe West Region remains a high income earner for the country through tourism,” said Seretse, adding that it is regrettable that the area has been affected by a spate of robberies and break ins at camping sites and hotels hosting tourists.
Although Kgosi Mmualfhe indicated his point to be that the hotels need to hire their own security personnel like other companies, Seretse emphasized the importance for the two (hotels and police) to come up with the solution. “Dealing with people from outside, we need to protect them because it may damage the economy,” said Seretse.
He stated that tourists have now become victims resulting in the lowering of confidence in their safety.
“If not adequately addressed, this state of affairs will negatively impact on the tourism industry,” said Seretse.
He added that the decision to deploy police was deliberately taken while a long term solution is being devised.
“Such a solution will include a combination of state and private efforts and to say they are used as guards is simplistic,” said Seretse.
He informed the Dikgosi that the patrols and road blocks covering villages in the area will continue to be mounted when necessary.