The Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation is expected to shed off its colonial image in the form of uniforms that its officers have donned for decades.
The department says it does not want to go through what their counterpart at Botswana Police Service experienced when they replaced their uniforms in 2010 that was surrounded by controversy.
It is understood that close to P20 million has been put aside by the ministry of Justice, Defence and Security in this financial year 2017/2018 for the purchase of the new uniforms which is the only colonial uniform left in the disciplined forces.
It is understood that the tender is expected to be floated sometime around May this year.
The Commissioner of Prisons and Rehabilitation Colonel Silas Motlalekgosi confirmed that his department will introduce a new uniform at a date still to be decided.
“It is true that my department will very soon have a new uniform that will be unveiled before the end of the financial year,” said Motlalekgosi.
He said currently they are working closely with Botswana Bureau of Standards to ensure that materials that will be used to produce the uniform are all of good quality.
“We will not compromise our quality,” he said.
Motlalekgosi said in due course a tender will be floated to invite those interested to tender to show their interests.
He indicated that the uniform could have long been replaced three years ago but due to unforeseen circumstances there were some delays but now the process is at an advanced stage.
He indicated that since he became the commissioner lots of people approached him and his office complaining about their uniform asking when it will be changed.
“If you recall well, we used to wear brown shoes that were part of our uniform but that was changed and black shoes were introduced which are now appealing,” said Motlalekgosi.
He added that the uniform has been in use since 1958 during the colonial era.
“We will ensure that everything is done correctly especially the material. It has to be to be exact,” said Motlalekgosi.
Contacted for comment Botswana Bureau of Standards spokesperson Kagisano Makonyela said briefly for reasons of confidentiality, BOBS cannot disclose issues of quality control services to third party without the written consent of the client therefore the information can be obtained from the relevant authority/client.
Meanwhile Botswana Bureau of Standards, BOBS, was commissioned to investigate the quality of Botswana Police Service uniform.
The quality investigations by BOBS follows growing complaints by the public that the uniform issued almost seven years ago at a cost of P24 million was of low quality.