The Botswana Prisons Service has denied reports that there is a proliferation of prohibited items that include drugs, weapons, cell phones and cigarettes which find their way past through tight security into the walls of Maun State Prison.
This publication has been inundated with complaints from some concerned prison warders who claim the smuggling of these items into prison to the inmates is perpetuated by some of their colleagues who make money out of the illicit act.
According to the concerned wardens, some prisons officers collude with the relatives of the inmates to be the conduit to take these items in, for cash payments.
But, in a surprise turn of events Botswana Prisons Services (BPS) Public Relations Officer, Senior Superintendent Oagile Kojane told this publication that they are not aware of any cases of any smuggling of illegal items at Maun Prison. He said that the BPS always ensures vigilance for the safety of both officers and prisoners.
In separate interviews our sources revealed that such items include cell phones, cigarettes, drugs and sharp instruments. The cell phones are then used by inmates to communicate with relatives and in some instances to instigate some criminal activities with fellow criminals on the outside.
They also opined that while part of the inmates rehabilitation process involves weaning them off unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and drug use, smuggling them in defeats the efforts to fully rehabilitate them.
The officer has explained that some of the items such as knifes and other sharp objects are a serious threat to the safety of the warders, as may be used to intimidate or to injure the escorting officers, creating a room for the inmates to escape.
He said that in the cases of drug smuggling they involve the Botswana Police Services while for some offences the inmates face a disciplinary hearing in the prison.
According to BPS act any prison officer who unlawfully sells or supplies, receives directly or indirectly any benefit or advantage from the sale or supply of any article to or for the use of any prisoner or for use in any prison shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding P100, or to both. In default of payment of the fine the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.