Residents of Peolwane (Block 7) location in Gaborone this past Saturday started their own clean-up campaign in one of the bushes aimed at thwarting the rampant criminal activities in the area. The activity saw Peolwane residents coming together in the wee hours of Saturday morning and united to clear the dense bush between Block 7 and Block 8 (Marapoathutlwa), which has and continues to be a haven for criminals.
Community members with the assistance of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKA) and MRI Medical Rescue started cleaning up the thick scrub, which has been blamed for harbouring criminals and their illicit deeds.
Angu Morapedi, a resident who lives nearby, said residents saw the need to join hands to clear the thick forest in a bid to try and get rid of the proliferating crime it caused in the area.
Another resident, and chairman of Peolwane Location 1, Oarabile Modise said the bushy area has been getting steadily worse thus becoming a haven for criminals to carry out their unlawful pursuits unperturbed.
“Block 7 has become a dangerous place because of this dense bush and we have since discovered that criminals use it to hide and carry out numerous criminal activities. A lot of muggings and purse snatching happens in this bush hence our concerted efforts to clean-up ,” he said.
“During our clean-up campaign, we found several trenches in this bush which criminals use to hide in. This is where they also hide the stuff they could have stolen from our houses. We discovered a lot of their tools, such as makeshift step ladders within this bush,” said Modise, who was part of the clean-up.
Team doctor, Dr. Lesego Sikele from the MRI Medical Rescue said they saw the need to be part of the clean-up campaign since crime affects each and every one of us.
“This is a start, but we need to discuss with the community on how to join forces to fight crime. We need to continue being strategic in fighting crime. We cannot continue to live in fear of criminals who rob us of our hard-earned possessions. Initiatives like this one help us too as the police as they lessen the burden of us fighting crime alone,” said Inspector Armstrong Duna from Botswana Police Service SSKA who was also part of the clean-up campaign.
Councillor Batlhalefeng Letlhage said she will continue to rally behind her troops in fighting crime and added that initiatives such as this one must be encouraged and supported with full might.
The tidying campaign was fully supported by the Block 7 Village Development Committee (VDC), Spar, MRI Medical Rescue, Botswana Police Service SSKA, Red East Construction – who are busy developing Sedilega Hospital in Block 7, a northern location with 17 cells.