Senior female soldiers target junior officers and civilians
Botswana Defence Force is allegedly battling with sexual abuse of female junior officers by senior female officers and this has spilled over to unsuspecting civilians.
Although such incidents among soldiers hardly get reported, civilians do report the matters to police.
The latest is an incident in which a 30- year- old female soldier at Glen Valley was on Saturday morning arrested after allegedly raping a 29- year old nurse.
On Thursday morning, Lorraine Polao’s charges of assault were to be changed to rape after investigations by Broadhurst Police proved that it crime was indeed rape and not just assault.
Information gathered by this publication is that on Saturday while at her barracks with a female nurse who works at Princess Marina Hospital, Polao overpowered the complainant who was visiting her and fondled her.
“The two are friends and the nurse had visited her without suspecting that she was being targeted. She later took a bath as they were preparing to go out for drinks but Polao pounced on her,” said the source.
She allegedly tore her clothes including underwear before sexualling molesting her, causing injuries to the nurse’s private parts in the process.
After satisfying herself the soldier apparantly ordered the nurse to go but was embarrassed since her clothes were torn into pieces.
Instead she raised an alarm and Polao was arrested and detained facing a single count of assault.
On Wednesday afternoon, police summoned Polao again and advised that her charge was going to be changed from assault to rape.
Director, Protocol and Public Affairs, Colonel, Tebo Kacho Dikole confirmed that they were aware of a case whereby one of its members stationed at Glen Valley Barracks is alleged to have assaulted a non BDF member.
“The matter is before the Broadhurst Police station and pre-empting its outcome would be improper.BDF does not condone any breach of established standards of conduct be it by Senior Officers or any member of the Defence Force as espoused under Sections 135 (Fraternisation) and 136 (Sexual Harassment) of the Botswana Defence Force Act, 2018. The BDF takes issues of Sexual Harassment and fraternization very seriously and from time to time we work with sister militaries and other organizations to conduct workshops on the same.”
He added that the BDF Social and Welfare Office has scheduled engagements with BDF personnel aimed at providing education on matters relating to Fraternization and Sexual Harassment.
“In addition, Commanders at all levels constantly sensitize members of the BDF on Sexual Harassment and Fraternization issues.”
Meanwhile, Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Superintendent Kebapetse Lotshwao, confirmed having a rape case involving a nurse and a soldier.
“I cannot disclose much information except to confirm that we have such a case.”
He also confirmed that it was not the first case of its nature to have occurred at Glen Valley and reported at his station citing another one that happened last year.