Zim Intelligence Officer’s Visits Raises Eyebrows?

  • Zim Intel officers alleged to be frequenting Botswana
  • DIS denies visitations


The frequent visits of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers to Botswana are reportedly causing concern within local intelligence circles. CIO officers have allegedly been making regular visits to Botswana since the end of 2023, while officers from Botswana’s Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) are also said to be visiting Zimbabwe for various assignments.

Studying key security features

Speculations surround the purpose of these visits, with some suggesting they may be related to studying key security features ahead of implementing a new Botswana/Zimbabwe border plan allowing citizens to use ID cards for cross-border travel. However, concerns have been raised about the timing and the historical controversies involving the CIO, especially in Zimbabwean elections.

Bad timing 

“The timing is bad,” said a source close to the developments. “The CIO is always marred in controversy in every Zim election. Their dealings with the DIS really raise a concern.”

In recent Zimbabwean elections, the CIO faced accusations of instilling fear among citizens and engaging in vote-buying practices. For his part, DIS Public Relations Officer, Edward Robert, denied any visitation of CIO operatives to Botswana. “We have never hosted any members of the CIO,” briefly said Robert.

“Secret dealings” 

Meanwhile, the backdrop of these intelligence visits coincides with criticism of the Botswana government’s alleged “secret dealings” with Zimbabwe. Opposition parties, including the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), and the Botswana Republican Party (BRP), plan to petition President Mokgweetsi Masisi to address concerns about the Independent Electoral Commission’s benchmarking exercises in Zimbabwe. Despite the IEC stating the trip is aimed to benchmark Zimbabwe’s Elections Management Systems, opposition parties express skepticism due to irregularities reported by the Southern African Development Council (SADC) observer mission in Zimbabwean elections.