Kgathi advises senior officers

| September 13, 2015

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi has implored prison senior officers to build teams and ensure that they implement their department’s and the country’s policies.

Speaking during a two-day prison senior officers conference in Mahalapye on Friday (September 11), Mr Kgathi said they should be exemplary to their subordinates and the communities they serve.

He said they should guide, show direction and ensure that the organisational strategy and annual performance plans were cascaded. He added that they showed also ensure that adequate monitoring of implementation was done. He also urged them to dispense the justice that the country wants.

The minister noted that the prison system was expensive to run, but a necessary component of criminal justice, adding that it was there to perform an important function of providing custody and rehabilitation of offenders.

He said the government has invested in an effective prison system, and that the investment should justify its existence by delivering expected results. He advised that they should collectively review their strategies, come up with new ideas and examine their work plans to see whether they were bringing desired results or whether they were taking the organisation to the desired heights.

Mr Kgathi said in his past interaction with the leadership of the prisons, there was ample evidence that there was inadequate cascading of the organisational strategy and the annual performance plan to the outstations.

Moreover, he said there seemed to be no monitoring of implementation of the plan, and that this has the effect of negatively impacting on the overall performance of the organisation. The minister said it was up to them to ensure that this was accomplished.

On other issues, Mr Kgathi said he was aware that prison work presents a variety of challenges ranging from resource constraints, long hours of work and risks. He said the challenges collectively make prison work not only difficult, but challenging as well.

Therefore, he said there was need for all to work together and resolve the challenges. Mr Kgathi explained that they were already in the process of reviewing and amending the Prisons Act and coming up with new conditions of service for the organisation.

He said the Commissioner of Prisons and his senior staff with the guidance of the permanent secretary and her staff have been working to finalise the conditions of service for the prison service, adding that the exercise was done parallel to that of the Botswana Defence Force and Botswana Police Service.

The minister said delivery on custodian management of inmates was measured by the number of escapes in prisons, and that it was an area where they should put efforts to minimise if not eradicate.

Mr Kgathi said it was disturbing to hear reports of prisoners escaping whilst under the guard of officers or escaping whilst being escorted to courts, hospitals or other facilities.

However, he said he was pleased to note that the prison service was doing well in vocational training, education and religious programmes for prison inmates as part of their rehabilitation. He said the high number of prisoners who completed some of these programmes was a testimony to their commitment towards prisoner rehabilitation.

Category: General

Comments are closed.