source: Republic of Botswana (14/3/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 4 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"
B3) HON. MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, JUSTICE AND SECURITY RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT
B3a) Response by the Hon. Minister for Defence Justice and Security to PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION NO: 356 ASKED ON Wednesday 3rd March 2010 BY Mr. M.M. GOYA MP (PALAPYE)
QUESTION: To ask the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security;
i) Whether the Botswana Police Service is working with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to address the issue of crime in both Junior and Senior Secondary Schools; if not why; and
ii) Whether the Botswana Police Service has a comprehensive national school education programme to educate learners about the dangers of crime and substance abuse; if not why.
ANSWER: Madam Speaker,
i) I can confirm that the Botswana Police Service has a working relationship with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development on issues of crime prevention in both Junior and Secondary Schools.
ii) From as far back as 1995, the Botswana Police Service has been running a school outreach programme that covers all schools throughout the country. Under the programme, and in liaison with Career Guidance and Counselling Departments in schools, District and Station Commanders periodically undertake school visits to address students on such subjects as drugs and substance abuse, road safety and implications of youth involvement in crime.
Advantage is also taken of these visits to inform students of career opportunities in the Botswana Police Service
Madam Speaker, one positive outcome of this collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is the formation of School Anti Crime/Road Safety Clubs through which peer education is conducted. In this way, students participate in securing their own future. I thank you Madam Speaker.
B3b) Response by Acting Minister for Defence, Justice and Security to PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION NO: 346 ASKED TODAY BY: Mr. E.J. Batshu, MP. (Nkange)
QUESTION: To ask the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to inform this House on the following:
i) The number of criminal cases tried and completed by Magistrates' Courts during the years 2008 and 2009 respectively.
ii) He should further inform this house whether he is satisfied with the rate at which these courts dispose of cases considering the large number of cases held by the Botswana Police Service pending trial before such Courts.;
ANSWER: Madam Speaker, statistics on criminal cases for the years 2008 and 2009 in the Magistrate Courts is as follows:
Year Total # on Register Total # Completed Disposal rate
2008 5910 1123 19%
2009 7330 2050 28%
Madam Speaker, as can be seen from the forgoing information, the disposal rate of cases can be better and should be improved. One of the challenges faced is a high vacancy rate in the magistracy owing to unavailability of citizen candidates. In addition, numerous postponements of cases are experienced on account of unavailability of Attorneys whose time is divided between Magistrates Courts and the High Court. A heavy case load of civil matters on Magistrates further compounds the problem.
Madam Speaker, improvements are expected as a variety of measures currently undertaken begin to bear fruit. These include:-
(i) The establishment of Small Claims Courts in Gaborone and Francistown starting in August 2009,
(ii) The establishment of Stock theft Courts in Molepolole, Mochudi, letlhakane and Francistown, also in August 2009,
(iii) The rolling out of the Judicial Case Management System to the Magistrate Court, and
(iv) A review of the conditions of service for magistrates.
I thank you Madam Speaker.