Over the last eight years Botswana has gone from a nearly crime-less utopia to a place where there is a constant fear of violent crime in the back of our minds.
When I first arrived in Gaborone in 2003, it was a place where you rarely worried about crime or your kids safety. Because of this, many families moved here and began to build a life.
Now because of the rise of violent crime that we see in other countries – car-jacking, people beaten in their homes, stabbings over a few pula and a cheap Nokia – these same families are talking about finding some place new.
These crimes are striking people from all walks of life. Far too many of those victims’ stories have gone untold, their cries for justice and safety gone unheard. The time has come to put a stop to all that.
Two years ago the FIGHT CRIME IN GABORONE group was formed to help heighten awareness of the alarming increase in crime in the greater Gaborone area. What began as a small movement on Facebook quickly grew. The group now has over 2300 members, the members sharing their stories and concerns – showing support for the movement and each other.
The group has been able to effect some change. Yet crime is still on the rise and they are growing more and more violent all the time.
So now, with the help of THE VOICE and YOU the FIGHT CRIME IN GABORONE group is taking the movement to the next level. We are going to use this public space to give a Voice to those who have not been heard. To shine a light on the growing problem of crime in Botswana.
If you are concerned about the rise in crime, if you or someone you love has been a victim of a crime, if you care at all about the future of Botswana – Join us! Join us and help us instigate change and start returning Botswana to a safe and peaceful place for all of us.
Watch this space in the coming weeks for details on how you can join the community, have your voice heard and help us return Botswana to a safer place.
I have begun writing a weekly column about the going crime problem for the The Voice newspaper in Botswana.