A Francistown Magistrates court has remanded in custody a 23-year-old man for allegedly burning down the community service centre at Tatitown Police Station.
When appearing before Magistrate Game Mooketsi yesterday (Thursday) State prosecutor, Sesafeleng Dijeng, pleaded with the court to reserve Mopedi Bugalo’s plea and made an application that the Investigating Officer take a stand to tell court why the accused person should not be granted bail.
The Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Lawrence Nthoiwa told the court that the matter was still fresh and that investigations were still ongoing.
“I received the report on Wednesday morning at 11:08 to the effect that the community service center was on fire. I rushed to the scene where I found the fire fighters trying to extinguish the fire. After the fire was put off, I went inside where I found that a table, office counter, three visitors chairs, one plastic chair, reference book, two cell registers and a stamp were burnt,” said the Investigating Officer.
He said the interior wall of the building was affected with the smoke including the ceiling and some of the windows.
“I was told the accused person had been arrested for not adhering to one of the Covid-19 protocols. I found the accused half naked without any trousers and he had some blisters on his leg. I then asked that he be taken to the hospital. It was my first time to see the accused. Two police officers were affected by the smoke and one of them was injured during the incident,” added Nthoiwa.
For his part, Bugalo pleaded for bail as he said he lost his wallet and phone during the fire incident and said there was no way he could temper with investigations.
The Investigating Officer then interjected and told the court that the petrol that was used was not taken from the police station.”We are looking for the people who saw the accused draining the petrol from where he took it,” he said.
The accused then promised not to interfere with the investigations. “I have to be allocated a plot and I fear that I might miss the opportunity should I be remanded in custody,” he said.
Bugalo’s plea for bail was however dismissed as Magistrate Mooketsi stated that the his release on bail might prejudice the matter.
He will be back in court on the 14th of January.