BY CLAUDIA TALLY
Police have made a startling revelation that firearms for national election security operations have yet to be procured.
Deputy Police Commissioner Anton Billie said firearms may not be purchased and received by the time election writs are issued on April 28 and when nominations and campaigning begin in earnest.
“We haven’t bought anything yet. I was told they were doing it (police supply team) but they needed time,’ Mr Billie said yesterday.
He said the normal procurement process for ammunition and firearms could take around six to eight months to organize as there were important procurement protocols that needed to be followed.
Mr Billie, however, believes the police will make do with the stock currently available until the new market arrives.
A senior police department official, who requested anonymity, said there were strict supply protocols in place, however, due to the urgency of the matter, the supply team at the police had proposed measures to circumvent some of these procedures.
The source said this situation would not have happened if the funds for the purchase of the guns had been released in November or December last year.
“We were supposed to get the funding last year, but because we got it this year in February, the funding delayed everything,” he said.
“It normally takes a long time to get hold of.
“To get those purchases for those major expenses, like uniforms, guns, and ammunition, we don’t have time to make those purchases.”
The issue is further complicated by the fact that the supply committee did not approve the police supply orders. Items that have yet to be purchased include guns, ammo, and uniforms.