Evidence gathered by Botswana Guardian shows that senior police officers could be covering up a damning arms scandal, which has since exposed weak monitoring and supervision mechanism within the police service.
Sources within the police service told this newspaper that the police commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe’s office was used regularly by some of the officers who were involved in the illegal sale of the arms licences and rifles. While the police commissioner was not involved himself in the illegal trading of the licences and rifles, most of the licences were approved by his office, sources have said.
It is alleged that some of the officers duped the commissioner into signing and ‘authenticating’ documents relating to the illegal trade. It was realised much later into the investigations that some of the documents passed through the commissioner’s office and that his signature featured prominently in the documents.
Perhaps fearful of the repurcussions, sources say Makgophe instituted administrative disciplinary processes instead of criminal processes. This is despite the fact that the accused officers are facing grave offenses that include thousands of Pula and illegal sale of fire arms and licences. Other police officers are also incenced by the fact that some members of the unit appear to be treated with kids' gloves instead of facing the full wrath of the law.
Officers are complaining that the unit’s officer in charge was not placed under interdiction but was only transferred to Broadhurst police station. “It is clear that the police are involved in a cover-up to protect the highest office from being put under scrutiny,” said a source within the police service.