400 DISS Agents Sue Govt Over Back Pay

  • Say decision not to pay them their back pays effective from April 2008 is unlawful
  • Argue legitimate expectation to receive back pays effective from April 2008
  • Challenge changes in rules of promotion and progression that have prejudiced them




Over 400 agents of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) are suing the Botswana government over back pay.

The dispute stems from changes made to promotion and progression rules within the C-Band grades in the public service, which have left these officers aggrieved.

The secret agents have instructed Mboki Chilisa of Collins Chilisa Attorneys to represent them in the matter.


Right to be assessed


They argue that under Directive No. 10 of 2001, they have the right to be assessed, and where a vacancy exists, they are to be recommended for promotion after a minimum period of two years instead of the previous three-year requirement.

They hold that in an effort to improve progression and capacity within the public service, the government decided to create a pool of posts at the C-Band with multi-titling and grading C1/2/3/4.

This move aimed to provide government ministries with flexibility in recruitment and filling of these posts.

Progression every two years

The officers argue that Directive No. 6 of 2008 introduced an automatic progression system for all public officers in C-Band grades who qualify for promotion, enabling progression after every two years up to the top notch of the C-Band.

Their position is that under Directive No. 6 of 2008, the government was required to budget not only for posts in the establishment register but also for progression in the various notches of the C-Band to cater for career advancement.

In their view, a circular savingram titled “Implementation of the Court of Appeal Judgment Pertaining to Directives and Savingrams on Multiple Titling and Grading of C-Band Positions,” which was issued on 13 May 2022, sheds light on how the directives and savingrams on multi-titling should be implemented following the Attorney General v Sefore 2021 All Bots 102 (CA) decision.

They argue that the government has communicated its intention not to pay them their salary back pays effective from 2010 when they joined DISS, saying the decision has left them aggrieved.


The DISS agents say the decision not to pay them their back pays effective from April 2008 is unlawful for several reasons.

They argue that the decision is contrary to Directive No. 6 of 2008, as read with the savingram pertaining to the Court of Appeal judgment issued in 2022.

They say they had a legitimate expectation to receive back pays effective from April 2008.

The decision, they further argue, is unlawful unless it is backdated to 2001 when Directive No. 10 of 2001 came into force.