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Prison officers undertake own maintenance

22 Mar 2023

Botswana Prison Service officers have embarked on a unique undertaking of renovating and refurbishing 70 staff houses at Gaborone Prison Complex. 

The self-help strategy themed Letsema includes painting, installation of geysers, upgrading electrical distribution and plumbing works. 

Launching the project Tuesday, Minister of Defence and Security, Mr Kagiso Mmusi said the refurbishment was intended to give the houses a facelift and make them more habitable and homely. 

He said the organisation decided to employ the self-help strategy to refurbish the houses, which were in a bad state and therefore affecting morale. 

“This is a clear testimony of the Prison Service’s determination to improve conditions of service for its workforce,” the minister said. 

He said completion of the project would result in improved productivity and service delivery. 

“This initiative will also go a long way in saving government a lot of money that should have been used to outsource these services,” said Mr Mmusi. 

Prisons commissioner Ms Dinah Marathe said officers would be physically engaged in the renovation and refurbishment of the houses. 

Ms Marathe said last year, six houses were refurbished under the same arrangement.

She said on a recent tour of some prison camps,  staff had decried the dilapidated state of their accommodation. 

The organisation did not look far to solve its own problems, stated the commissioner adding that the initiative would help to achieve more with less. 

“In line with Reset Agenda, we have turned our minds from decrying budgetary constraints but looked at what we have at our disposal to solve our problems,” she said. 

Ms Marathe said the project would protect the dilapidated houses from further damage, enhance the camp’s appeal, give officers comfort as well as promote good health among occupants. 

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Botlhale Makgekgenene said the project would not only accomplish its intended results, but was also a cost saving measure for  government. 

She said the initiative was also in line with the organisation’s adopted slogan of building a high performance culture: repositioning, realigning and re-engineering Botswana Prison Service to achieve its mandate. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Bonang Masolotate

Location : Gaborone

Event : Meeting

Date : 22 Mar 2023