Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi, says salaries and benefits for Prisons, Police and Botswana Defence Force officers can never be the same as the departments have distinct mandates and are governed by different statutes.
Kgathi was responding to Francistown West Member of Parliament, Buti Billy, who had enquired about the salary disparity among the three departments.
Billy’s concern was also that prison warders are paid low salaries when compared to their counterparts at BDF and Police service. “This is notwithstanding the fact that they perform equally demanding and sometimes dangerous tasks and are exposed to daily risks of being harmed by hardcore criminals with whom they interact and deal with on daily basis,” he said.
In response, Kgathi said the pay and related packages for the three departments are related to each and that they were never meant to be the same. “In this context each department’s salaries are graded independent of each other, taking into account their uniqueness, scope of work and related risks. I can therefore confirm that the issues of disparity and discrimination do not arise,” he said.
Minister Kgathi however told Parliament that in order to address each department’s pay challenges, his ministry has engaged reputable consultants to undertake comprehensive review of the pay structure and conditions of service for the three departments. “These were consultants who are experts in pay structures and benefit analysis, with experience in these particular functional areas,” he said and added that he will be taking the findings to parliament this month.