- “We don’t want to be like DIS”
- Parliament in the dark
The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama yesterday mocked the Directorate of Intelligence Security (DIS) for the alleged diversion of P250 million that was intended for the construction of fuel storage tanks for the DIS in what has been described as Botswana’s biggest financial scandal.
Tshekedi is appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Public Enterprises to account for contrasting views on the involvement of a United Kingdom based company, ASUIA in the collection of the envisaged tourism levy by his ministry.
Appearing before the committee, Tshekedi Khama deliberately veered off the topic and attacked the DIS saying;
“I want things done correctly. We are correcting everything we did wrong…. We do not want to be like the DIS who are said to have diverted about P250 Million claiming to be constructing fuel storages, whatever it is.” At this juncture, Moyo Samson Guma chipped in to protect the DIS and asked Khama to withdraw the statement.
“Minister please withdraw that statement. Since this committee is an extension of parliament, we are not supposed to discuss matters which are before the courts,” he said. A clearly excited Tshekedi however claimed he did not know the matter was already before the courts.
“Oh, I didn’t know it’s already before the courts. I will withdraw that for now,” he said. Khama is currently appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Public Enterprises to answer to a series of maladministration allegations at Botswana Tourism Organization, a parastatal under his ministry.
Khama has not been seeing eye to eye with Kgosi for some time and has been one of the fierce critics of the DIS, on some occasions accusing them of wasting money.
While Kgosi continues to downplay the gravity of differences with the Wildlife Anti-Poaching unit and Tshekedi Khama, the latter has opted to make his position public.
This year he refused to support the DISS supplementary funding, insisting that it was a misplaced request. He pointed out that for the good of the country, the government should get its priorities right.
“I become surprised that for the DISS, P15 million can be passed to fix the computers. What are we saying to Batswana? Are we telling them that we cannot compensate them for the damages caused by wildlife or when they have lost a family member yet we can afford to fix computers?” he told parliament then.
So far it appears the irrepressible Tshekedi has refused to bend to his brother, President Ian Khama’s backstage advice to behave, and continues to attack the DIS publicly- a no go area for other cabinet ministers.
DIS and its director, Isaac Kgosi are said to be close to Khama but Tshekedi is unfazed, perhaps because he knows there will be no repurcussions to him due to his familial relations with the president.