Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keynote Address by the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Hon.Dikgakgamatso N. Seretse, at the official Openening of Sehitwa Police Station

source: Republic of Botswana (17/5/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 14 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


[Salutations]...Ladies and Gentlemen

1. I am once again delighted to be part of the realization of my
government's commitment to create a safe and secure nation, pursuant to our national vision.

2. You have always gone past this place and wondered when it would be completed. It has obviously taken too long and this is not good for all of us; the contractor; the community; and government. I am saying this because the delay in the completion of projects often has negative consequences like delaying desired services and increasing costs which affect other planned government projects. It is my hope therefore, that all those involved in the delivery of projects of this nature will in future ensure that they are completed on time and on budget.

3. Structures do not and will not guarantee the safety and security of our nation. The men and women within these structures, their commitment and unwavering conviction to fight crime and maintain desirable level of security for our people is what will ultimately guarantee and ensure the security and safety of this nation. I
therefore call on an effective and efficient police service. I also note that for these men and women to attain and maintain the desired level of competency, government has to ensure that they are given the necessary tools and amenities. I will do so to the best extent possible.

4. The world has become one big village and criminals have become more mobile and sophisticated. We are therefore, more than ever before challenged to enhance the effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies to assist them to deal with all forms of crime. Developments like this one, go a long way in empowering the men and women who have volunteered to serve in this capacity to do their best in the fight against our common enemy, crime.

5. I refer to the police as volunteers because the profession of police officer demands commitment and selflessness beyond the ordinary. We all expect members of the police service to perform their mandate without equating it to any monetary reward or benefit. It is only when they hold this mindset that they can succeed in protecting the public and their property. I would like to join the residents of Sehitwa and surrounding villages such as Tsau, Semboyo, Kareng, Bodibeng, Makakung, Bothatogo, Toteng, Legotlhwane and Hyenafeld ranches in their expectations of better service delivery after the completion of this magnificent facility. Let me also demand a high degree of care from the police on this property. This place should always be in a good state of repair.

6. Stock-theft in Botswana continues to be a source of serious concern that has worried us as a nation for a long time. The Ngamiland policing area is equally affected. I have no doubt you will all agree with me that to any Motswana, loss of livestock, whether big or small, is a loss too much and a serious setback. I would like to challenge Sehitwa Police to work around the clock to ensure that this phenomenon is reversed significantly so that the people of this area can continue to engage in profitable cattle farming without fear of losing them to criminals.

7. In order to counter this negative phenomenon, my Ministry has taken a decision to establish a fully fledged Stock Theft Branch within the Botswana Police Service. Work is already in progress to ensure that this branch takes off immediately and it will have representation all over the country. May I urge all of you to work closely with the police for the branch to become effective. The Chief Justice of the country has also agreed to set up stock theft courts in Botswana and is currently working on their modalities of operation.

8. I have said a lot about the nation's expectation of their police service and the obligations and commitment of the service to its nation. Allow me now to mention that the nation also has to have obligations and commitments to itself so as to effectively and successfully fight crime. In this regard I call upon you residents of the policing area for which this station is responsible, to police yourselves and assist the police to achieve the fullest extent of their mandate. I have recently
introduced a Cluster Policing Strategy which was well accepted by yourselves. This new idea/strategy is meant to revive the old Setswana spirit of self-help and to promote team-work in the fight against crime. Government will never afford to employ enough police officers to adequately keep watch over Batswana and hence this strategy to assist the police. It is an international trend for the police to join hands with the communities they serve and seek assistance from them to fight crime. You have to understand that in most cases crime takes place because we expose ourselves to it or fail to take appropriate steps to prevent it.

9. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it would be remiss of me if I did not express my deepest concern at the rate of Road Traffic Fatalities that continue to haunt us. These unfortunate incidents occur mainly because of driving at excessive speed and because of young people who have a bad tendency of either driving dangerously sometime without driving licenses or lacking experience. Road Traffic accidents are the second biggest cause of death in this country after incurable diseases. It is for this reason that concerted efforts are needed to reverse this. Let me also implore all to drink responsibly. Drunkenness is a catalyst for crime.

10. I do not want to dwell much on the specifics of the cluster strategy as I take it you are already aware of the programme. All I wanted to do was to remind you to take advantage of this idea to build on your past efforts. I am convinced that the experiences you and the police gained through the crime prevention movement will go a long way in assisting in the implementation of cluster policing. We are currently reviewing progress made in the implementation of this concept to inform our future actions. Your cooperation with the police is necessary if we are to make any meaningful progress in this regard.

11. Lastly, let me remind police officers in the Ngamiland district and other areas in the periphery that in addition to policing the people of Ngamiland and their property, you are policing a tourist area that is very important to the economy of our country. You need to do your best to jealously protect this important industry. The world is currently going through tough economic times and we cannot afford to be complacent. The safer an area is, the more attractive it becomes tourism.

13. Having said that, Director of Ceremonies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honour and privilege to declare Sehitwa Police Station Officially opened.

No comments: