- Some people want Botswana on the dinner table – Magosi
- DISS confirms recruiting ex-commandos
LETLHOGILE MPUANG & TEFO PHEAGE
At a time when the country’s secret service is full of double agents, threats on the life of President Mokgweetsi Masisi were never as serious as they are now, the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Brigadier Peter Magosi, has said.
Magosi revealed this in an interview with this publication at his office this week where he was asked several questions about his apparent change of tack in the President’s security. The secret service, he claims, had detected new and more serious threats by non-state actors who are after the country’s natural resources.
He claimed Masisi’s radical approach to dismantling oligarchies who had lined up Botswana for the dinner table was the matter. “The situation has gotten much worse,” he emphasised. “We have never had a situation like this in the history of this country. These people are desperate to have this country’s natural resources for themselves.”
He asserted that these non-state actors’ master plan consisted of eliminating Masisi as the embodiment of the bulwark against their nefarious plans. “The plan is to eliminate the President, which would automatically mean that whomsoever came in next would be very cautious indeed.”
The situation is allegedly not helped by two-faced DISS operatives. “I have received reports that some within DISS are double agents” he said. “For now we treat these as allegations as there has been no proof to act upon. We have so far expelled four officers while two are still under investigation. There are reports that some are working with Kgosi but there is no proof of it. Until we have proof, our hands are rather tied.”
Magosi, who once headed Military Intelligence (MI) at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), also confirmed that some agents were uncomfortable with his views and management style. “But I could not allow that to derail me. I have preached unity,” he said.
In response to this, Magosi disclosed that the organisation was currently recruiting from among retired MI operatives and members of BDF special forces. Most, he said “are willing to join in”. Asked to elaborate, Magosi responded: “When it comes to operatives, I handpick but I let my deputies handle other matters of technical staff. He sounded only too happy to recruit what he described as “middle-aged retired commandos who can be a menace to any country if left to wander around”.
Magosi said he was concerned about the public perceptions of the DISS. “I know people’s views, but I want to leave a good legacy,” he asserted. “It’s every man’s dream. I want to be remembered for my contribution to this country.”
For security reasons, President Masisi and his family to-date live at State House II, the official residence of the Vice President while Vice President Slumber Tsogwane lives at a ministerial house.