*FIRE VICTIM SOLDIERS DEMAND DONATED MONEY
*SOME RESIGN OVER NEW ‘NO SLEEPOVER’ MEASURES
Tempers flared and patience seemed in short supply this week as angry soldiers who lost all their household belongings in an inferno last year, spoke of how they have waited in vain for answers from their commander, Lieutenant General GaolatheGalebotswe.
They demand to know why they have not yet been compensated.
Instead of the promised and expected compensation the BDF has instead decided to add to their men’s misery by enforcing strict rules aimed at denying junior officers sex, the soldiers have claimed.
The growing tension between the soldiers and their superiors began in January last year after 27 houses belonging to Lance Corporals were damaged by flames caused by their mate’s jealous wife.
Trouble however begun when BDF Second Brigade Brigadier Commander MolefiSeikano organised for the army to fundraise from both private organizations and the public to assist the affected men.
At least P150, 000 was raised, reliable sources have revealed.
About seven months ago Seikano offered the men P45, 000 each, but they declined the offer on the basis that a lot more money was raised.
“Our query is that Seikano has much more money than that in his possession, but as junior officers we cannot question a Brigadier and not be court marshalled or expelled for lack of discipline,” said one of the soldiers who requested not to be named for fear of recrimination.
The aggrieved men further claimed that while they were still perplexed as to as why the chaplain they had engaged to negotiate the money issue with the top brass was hurriedly transferred to Selebi-Phikwe, they were hit with a strict enforcement of the “No sex in the barracks rule.”
The rule stipulates that no soldier who is not married shall sleep outside the barracks and all soldiers residing in the barracks at the rank of lance corporal or lower shall cook or provide a meal for their guest and that guest shall not spend the night with him at the same place.’
“The BDF in Francistown is seriously enforcing this no sex restriction.
How are we expected to survive without sex?
The situation is not conducive for us to work here anymore,hence the decision to seek the commander’s intervention or organise a mass resignation,” said one of the soldiers.
Adding on to what his colleague had said another soldier, a lance corporal said: “Some of us have kids and those kids are not recognized by the BDF.
Actually if you want to see how cruel the BDF can be just cohabit with your child’s mother.”
At the time of going to print two of the aggrieved soldiers had already resigned while another was serving notice.
BDF spokesperson, Colonel Dikole did not want to be drawn into discussing the issues raised with The Voice except to say that a deadline for end of June has been set for the soldiers to receive their money.
He also explained that the transfer of the chaplain was an internal administrative matter that had nothing to do with the compensation case.