Friday, December 4, 2020

Sex discrimination claims rock SSG

Male Special Support Group officers complain that the career once regarded as a male bastion is now biased towards women because male bosses are having affairs with their female juniors.

The men in uniform, revealed how they suffer differential treatment when pool houses are allocated and promotions made because the SSG command is systematically discriminating against men. “We believe that we are both police officers, we graduated from the same college, we are holding the same ranks, we are doing the same job and we strongly believe that we should be enjoying the same perks and career progression opportunities, but that is not so”, said an officer who insisted on anonymity. “I have been working for Botswana police for almost three years, I have been living in a type of building called “barracks” and some of our friends stay in tents as we speak. Our female colleagues of the same ranks have however been given proper accommodation, with proper hygiene”, said another.

Another officer who would also not go on record revealed how SSG men are the new victims of sex discrimination at work, stating that this has divided the SSG community along gender lines. “We do not see eye to eye with our sisters for the obvious reason that we are being unfairly treated by our bosses. We are not going to hide it because it’s there. We know our bosses are having affairs with these female juniors and the next thing they are promoted not because of their performance but because they are sleeping with the bosses.”

“We have tried to engage our supervisors about these kinds of treatment but nobody seem to care. How are we expected to perform if it is clear that we are second class employees.” The Sunday Standard interviewed one of the female officers who have been accommodated in proper houses at SSG. She said, “We do not know the criterion that is being used to assist an officer with accommodation. It is true that some of our male colleagues have been living in those barracks for years. What is surprising is that when women officers are transferred from other posts management is always able to secure proper housing for them. We have a hostile relationship with our male colleagues because they feel discriminated against”, she said.

Police spokesperson Dipheko Motube said Botswana Police Service was not aware of any sexual relationships between bosses and their juniors. “As far as we knows all officers are treated equally regardless of their gender. Every police officer is entitled to benefits regardless of their gender. People are promoted on merit. Sometimes it depends on circumstances, one can fall into luck by the grace of God or by the situation they find themselves in at a given time. Challenges are always there and should be expected from time to time and it is important that the officers seek advice from within the police service or at the commissioner office before they take issues to the media,” he said.

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