MPs Call For DISS Protection 

  • Deputy Speaker recently attacked by assailants outside his home
  • MPs raise concern that DISS protection is currently selective
  • President can extend DISS protection to whomsoever he deems fit


Members of Parliament (MPs) are calling for personal protection by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) in response to worsening crime in Botswana.

The latest call was prompted by a recent attack on the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Pono Moatlhodi, just outside his home in Gaborone.

While details of the attack and extent of Moatlhodi’s injuries remain sketchy, threats and attacks on other MPs have occurred in recent times.

Minister Molebatsi

In September, the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Molebatsi Molebatsi, has reported an attempt on his life by a former Botswana Defence Force commando.

The Minister of Health Edwin Dikoloti and the MP for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane have also been threatened and attacked.

MPs say their perceived wealth and assumptions that they carry wads of cash make them targets.

The Leader of the Opposition, Dithapelo Keorapetse, has added his weight to the call for VIP protection to be extended to MPs and expressed concern about the rise in violent crime in the country.

Parliamentary Village 

“Generally, there is a widespread belief that politicians are rich and carry money on their persons, which is not true,” he said.

Protection of MPs is currently provided by private security firms at their official residences at Parliamentary Village in Gaborone Central.

MPs not living at the Parliamentary Village receive housing and security allowances. Only the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, ministers and the Leader of the Opposition are covered by private security firms.

Dirty tactics

Chief Whip Liakat Kablay also agrees with the call for extending protection to MPs. “I fully agree,” he told The Botswana Gazette. “I am a victim too. It is time MPs were afforded personal protection.

“We say a lot of things in Parliament and make a lot of enemies out there. Some people view us as a threat at the ballot box and the only way to win against us is to resort to dirty tactics.

“We are a target also because people think we have a lot of money. We need protection extended to us before it is too late.”

President’s discretion

Reports indicate that some ministers enjoy personal protection from DISS. This has prompted concern about why this is not extended to MPs.

DISS spokesman Edward Robert says while the Intelligence Act primarily provides personal protection to specific individuals, the President has the discretion to extend such protection to other people when he deems it fit to do so.

“Yes, there are instances where we provide protection to people who are not specified in the Act but I am not at liberty to reveal their identities,” he said.