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Over suspected COVID-19 Suspected Case

The Headquarters of the Directorate of Intelligence services (DIS) have been closed down after one of the staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the preliminary tests.

Although this will obviously disrupt some of their services, the DIS Spokesperson, Edward Robert said they have put up measures to continue serving their mandate in this difficult period. “What is paramount is to balance between the health and safety of their staff without forgetting our responsibility to the nation,” he said in a brief interview.

The primary role of the directorate is to investigate, gather, coordinate, evaluate, correlate, interpret, disseminate and store information whether inside or outside Botswana for the purpose of detecting and identifying threats or potential threats to national security. Section 7 of the DISS Act, provides that the directorate shall be the principal advisor to the President and the government on matters relating to national security and intelligence.

The institution is further tasked with the mandate to thwart any activity relating to espionage, sabotage, terrorism or subversion, or intention to engage in any such activity directed against, or detrimental to the interest of Botswana. It is not known for how the DIS office will remain closed but the COVID 19 protocols direct that there should be contact tracing and fumigation and testing which may take some time. Robert is however adamant that such will be done in time considering the significance and sensitivity of the offices. Among those who may suffer in the meantime, are the ministries which the DISS is also empowered to gather intelligence for at their request.

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