- Says the President has lost control of the organisation
- The BNF has also threatened to mount a campaign against DISS
The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has called on President Mokgweetsi Masisi to initiate disbanding the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) in its present form so that he may build it afresh because he had lost control of the organisation.
The BCP call comes after the recent arrest of the Editor of Mmegi Ryder Gabathuse and the weekly’s senior reporter Innocent Selatlhwa, who were held overnight, by DISS.
“It is the President’s responsibility to bring order to DISS but so far he is failing hopelessly as the unit has become a law unto itself,” the party says in statement.
“The BCP therefore calls on Masisi to initiate the disbanding of DISS and start afresh. He has obviously lost control and to save face must disband the unit.
“If the president fails to take action, we can only conclude that everything that is happening is directly from his command and that DISS behaviour is reflective of his desires.”
The BCP said that the arrest of the journalists was calculated to instill fear in the general public as potential sources of information.
“By confiscating communication gadgets, the DISS can only be interested in accessing the journalists’ sources,” the BCP asserts.
“Therefore, it must be realised that the after effects are not only restricted to journalists but the public in general.”
While DISS has expressed regret that it arrested the two journalists, the BCP has dismissed this as an unfounded and empty narrative.
“The DISS statement does not say if anyone will be held to account, and this is impunity,” it says.
The BCP call comes a few days after another opposition party, the Botswana National Front (BNF) threatened to mount a rigorous campaign against DISS.
The party also vowed to disband the organisation once it takes over government alongside its contracting partners in the Umbrella for Democratic Change.