- LSB says DISS continues to operate above the law and lords it over other law enforcement agencies
The Chairman of the Law Society of Botswana (LSB), Tshekiso Tshekiso, has accused the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) of operating above the law and abusing other law enforcement agencies.
Speaking at the opening of the legal year, Tshekiso described DISS as law unto itself and appealed to authorities to tame it, saying there is serious concern about implications of the role and powers of the secret service on the country’s administration of justice.
The mandate of LSB is to assist all three arms of the government, the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislative, in administration and practice of the law.
Thekiso said the entire nation is concerned about the sweeping powers that DISS seems to have that it exercises with impunity. “The DISS continues to operate above the law,” he emphasized. “Other law enforcement agencies are helpless as the DISS seems to have usurped their mandate. There should be a clear line and definition of roles of all law enforcement agencies which have been created, especially for certain purposes.”
“The DISS should not, and it should not be allowed to, assume the powers of the Botswana Police Service when it comes to investigations of criminal offences and DCEC when it comes to investigation of corruption or PPADB when it comes to adjudication of tenders.”
Pressing on, Thekiso said it is even more disturbing when DISS assumes the constitutional powers of the DPP to prosecute. “It does not matter who the investigation or prosecution concerns,” he pointed out.
“In fact, it is of paramount importance when it involves prominent members of the society that the public should see that the law is followed to the letter, without manipulation, abuse or bias. This conduct of the DISS continues to be the greatest threat, since its establishment to our democracy.”
The cost-effective, quick, fair, transparent, equitable and quality delivery of justice, Tshekiso said, is key and the foundation of any democratic state. “It is for this reason that the Law Society will continue to engage with relevant authorities to try and ensure the rule of law based on these principles,” he noted.