HIV can degrade military readiness – BDF
Botswana Defense Forces (BDF) Commander Lt. Gen. Placid Segokgo said HIV / AIDS among soldiers could degrade the military’s readiness.
Segokgo made the remarks following concerns from members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over allegations that BDF recruits are being denied the right to be integrated into the military because of their HIV status.
“I don’t know the state of health of my officers, I just get a notification that an officer is unfit for work. I cannot and have never asked for their HIV status. I don’t know if recruits are denied the opportunity because of their HIV status. However, my responsibility is to produce an army ready to face different situations and HIV can degrade preparation, ”Segokgo said.
He said, however, that there had been an argument that testing for HIV does not mean a person is sick, adding that some of the investments in agent training are expensive, so there is an argument against it. investment in someone who may soon be unavailable due to health illness.
He further admitted that the military employed recruits who
do not meet the height requirement due to the work equipment they use, which cannot be used by short people. Segokgo also said that they are firing people with tattoos because such body markings (tattoos) are associated with criminals and gangsters and therefore would not fit well with the image of the military.
“I agree that young people today see tattoos as body art, hence the need for the military to think about it and probably stop using them as a requirement during the verification process. “, did he declare.
Tonota lawmaker Pono Moatlhodi expressed concern that the majority of young people were not happy with the BDF’s recent recruiting exercise, as there were allegations that some had not been absorbed into because of their HIV status, their size while others couldn’t because of the tattoos. .
Moatlhodi said the vetting process worried him as there were no jobs and the BDF was the place where young people could be hired in large numbers to learn the discipline.