On Tuesday evening, Voice cartoonist, Lesole Ntshole was at a bus stop waiting for a combi to return to Morwa when he overheard a conversation between some people who were also waiting for a ride home after a hard day’s work.
LADY IN VIOLET DRESS: It is getting cold and you won’t believe me when I tell you that I have been waiting here for a combi for almost an hour.
If I had known that I was going to wait for this long, I would have taken my jacket with me.
MAN IN BLACK JACKET: Where have all the combis gone?
May be the police and transport officer have made a roadblock somewhere. Sometimes they have a tendency of doing some surprise roadblocks to arrest and charge those who do want to obey the public transport regulations.
LADY IN NAVY BLUE COAT: You are right. Usually when you wait for a long time at a stop, you begin to have suspicions that something is not going right.
When these police officers and transport officers conduct a roadblock that is when you start to notice that, we don’t have reliable transport here in Mochudi.
MAN IN BLACK JACKET: Combi drivers are experienced and very clever when it comes to avoiding roadblocks.
They will make sure that they communicate among themselves to make sure they avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
Some of these combi drivers are friends with police officers and transport officers, and they will always inform them before they mount roadblocks.
LADY IN NAVY BLUE COAT: There have been recent reports in the media that some police officers and transport officers are involved in the transport industry business and they would make sure that they protect their interest.
LADY IN VIOLET DRESS: Some weeks ago, I read a story about illegal public transport businesses operations in Francistown right in the rank.
LADY IN NAVY BLUE COAT: Do the police and transport officers know about that illegal public transport businesses?
LADY IN VIOLET DRESS: Yes, they knew. According to one of the member of the public transport association member interviewed by the newspaper, he said they had long reported to the police and the police just turned a blind eye.
MAN IN BLACK JACKET: It is very bad when civil servants entrusted with making sure that the rule of law is upheld turn a blind eye.
LADY IN NAVY BLUE COAT (to the lady in violet dress): Did the public transport association make an effort to complain to the police station commander?
LADY IN VIOLET DRESS: The police station commander knew. It was not the first time the association reported to him after lower ranking officers turned them down.
The worst thing was, the business was not only about illegal public transport operation. It involved the selling and trafficking of drugs.
The association vowed never to attend any public transport meeting between them, the police and transport officers.
MAN IN BLACK JACKET: I guess the reason why the police were reluctant to take action was that they knew it would be an embarrassment to their department.
LADY IN NAVY BLUE COAT: I agree one hundred percent with you. Our police always want us to treat them like saints.
LADY IN VIOLET DRESS: The funny thing was the station commander said if anyone with information on illegal public transport operation should report the matter to his office.
MAN IN BLACK JACKET: You Know, Mokgatla (meaning Kgosi Kgafela) was telling the truth some time back in a kgotla meeting when he said that our government is a government of thieves, crooks, and gangsters. (Laughter breaks out).
A combi arrives and the conversation stops as passengers begin to board.