Despite concerted efforts by both the police and gun-slinging army personnel to thwart crime across the country over the festive season, police registered an unusually high number of violent incidents, with rape and armed robbery cases far surpassing other offences.
According to the police, an alarming number of rape and armed robbery cases were significantly registered across the country during the festive season in stark contrast to the previous season – a terrifying trend amid the country’s commitment to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and the desire to lure foreign investment.
A weekly police report indicates that “rape cases increased from 48 to 86 while armed robbery cases also increased from 65 cases to 78 this festive season”.
Not spared from the calamity was Maun ÔÇô a tourist destination which the Acting Station Commander, Kenny Badumetse, said was inundated and haunted by rape and armed robbery cases, particularly perpetrated by delinquent Sanyedi Ward youths during the holidays.
He said the youths, armed with knifes and other intrusive weapons, usually attacked the unsuspecting individuals coming from the clubs, depriving them of their money and cell phones.
During the period under review, Maun police received a total of 10 armed robbery cases and some youths from Sanyedi Ward are in police custody awaiting trial.
In one notable incident, a 27-year-old woman of Bombadi Ward was repeatedly raped by three men as she lay asleep and drunk from the New Year revelry.
Badumetse said that the victim got a lift from her known male colleagues in the early hours of the New Year and they also offered her accommodation at their place.
“In the morning, when she wanted to wee-wee,” the station commander told Sunday Standard, “she noticed a trickle of sperm indicating she had been sexually violated in her sleep and she alerted the police.”
He said the culprits are currently at large but could not run away from the arm of the law for ever since they are known.
He advised the public against over indulgence to avoid humiliating and disgracing incidences adding that “currently 5 rape cases were reported over the festive season alone.”
As if that were not enough, the police also report a disturbing number of road accidents, particularly along the A1 road, claiming nine lives in five separate road accidents during the festive season.
“Overall, 29 lives were lost in 23 fatal accidents that occurred countrywide during the same period,” said the report. “The police have recorded an increase in road accidents as 850 cases were registered compared to 671 for the same period in 2007/2008. Preliminary police investigations also indicate that 11 of the fatal accidents occurred after the drivers lost control of the vehicles they were driving.”
Other prevalent road traffic offences, the report states, were also on the increase this festive season and included over speeding and driving without licence.
That notwithstanding, police recorded a reduction in the number of murder cases that were reported during the festive season. A total of seven murder cases were reported, compared to 13 the previous season.