IN ACTION: Police lights

Botswana Police Service is making millions of Pula through road traffic fines and have collected close to P96 million of those in a single year.

In his latest accounts of the Botswana government for the financial year ended March 2018, the Auditor General, Pulane Letebele has recorded a total of P95 621 813, wich he said has since become an additional source of funds for police departments.

“As I have repeatedly commented in the past, in my view, the Fund has become an additional or alternative source of funding for the recurrent expenditures of the Botswana Police Service. For example, a number of vehicles were purchased from the Fund transport and telecommunication branch, instead of using P32 057 580 appropriated for this purpose in the recurrent expenditure estimates, out of which only P1 387 301 had been used,” noted Letebele.

Letebele noted that when funds were sub warranted to various branches of BPS, for furtherance of the activities of those branches, P55 588 911.00 was used to buy vehicle canopies for transport and communications department, while P2 321 604.00 was spent on workshops, repair of a video camera, traffic baton, and road block signs for traffic section.

Another chunk of the fund; P2 454 531.00, was used on breathalyzer training, DNA extraction equipment, ethanol, body bags, blood alcohol for forensic branch. Training expenditure on police participation in 100 kilometre desert race gobbled an extra P85 029.00.

These kind of expenditure did not impress the Auditor General because the road traffic fine fund was not created to serve the whole police service but rather to curb traffic related offences.

Explaining the nature and purpose of the Fund, Letebele noted that, “The road Traffic Fines Fund was established in 2009 for the specific purpose of purchasing and maintaining traffic offence detecting devices and for complementing law enforcement measures of curbing road traffic offences.

The fund was funded by fines imposed for traffic offences, which were to be shared equally between the Consolidated Fund and the Fund.

However, effective from April 2015, with the amendment of the Fund order, the fines now accrue wholly to the Fund resulting in abundance of money in the fund.”

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