Former president Ian Khama’s younger brother Tshekedi cannot understand what his brother is on about because DISS was as bad under him as it is under Masisi. TEFO PHEAGE reports
Former president Ian Khama’s younger brother, Tshekedi, has differed with his brother about recent operations of the head of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS), saying the agency has always been a rogue institution ill-suited for a wonderful country like Botswana.
Khama, under whom DISS became particularly notorious, is currently going around the country portraying DISS as harassing Batswana, tapping telephone calls and spearheading a crackdown on the president’s political opponents.
His brother, Tshekedi – a longtime critic of the secret service – does not agree but stresses that DISS stood for nothing even under Khama’s presidency. “I long warned about the DISS,” he said in an interview yesterday. “I warned about their operations. I cried about the fact that they don’t account to anybody. I cried about the fact that they are a law unto themselves. I long saw that a time would come when they would not know what to do with the unaccounted money they hold.”
In Tshekedi’s view, Isaac Kgosi was no better than his successor at DISS, Peter Magosi, but says he is disappointed in Magosi because he held him in high regard. “I believed in Magosi,” he said. “I wanted him left and right when people refused me to have him. Even when he was unemployed, I spoke to him four times a day. I had great hopes about him and I know I am not the only one. But now nothing is different.”
He states that Magosi has fallen into the trap of power that comes with institutions that account to no one. “There was a time in Parliament where I was asking for P13 million for farmers’ compensation and DISS wanted P25 million to update computers,” he noted. “I said rubbish! What type of computers are those and what are they doing with those computers? The truth is that they were doing nothing because nobody knew about their business and expenditure, not even the Auditor General.”
Parliament raised concerns in vain about the organisation. “Nobody really knows what DISS is doing and has been doing. They are just a directionless body whose primary interest is impressing presidents. That is why tomorrow they are accused of corruption, tomorrow they are interfering in politics, tomorrow they are harassing investors seeking bribes and so forth and so on.”
He added that Magosi was now harassing the IEC for access to its work. According to Tshekedi, Botswana was better off with the defunct Special Branch (SP) that fell under the ambit of the Botswana Police Service. SP was dissolved by Khama to make for DISS Services whose reputation is in shambles.
Asked about what he knew about Kgosi, Tshekedi – who never saw eye to eye with the founding director of the secret service – responded: “I do not know here he is. It is alleged that he is in Malaysia. As you may be aware, I did not approve of what he did to the country and the way he was running DISS. We were not buddies and we cannot claim to be buddies now. He did whatever he did with the former president and Carter Morupisi and I was never a part of that.”
He said Botswana was today reeling under criminal transactions of the National Petroleum Fund because of the Kgosi-led DISS.