Wednesday, May 25, 2022

DIS oversight committee members resign over Kgosi

The Intelligence and Security Parliamentary Committee this week suffered the first resignations over Directorate of Security Service Director General Isaac Kgosi’s investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime on his questionable financial dealings.

In a letter dated 28 July 2014 and addressed to President Ian Khama and copied to National Assembly Speaker Margaret Nasha, the two Committee members Moeng Pheto and Bagalatia Arone state that, “It is with great regret to advice your Excellency on our joint and collective decision to resign as Members of the Intelligence and Security Parliamentary Committee with immediate effect.”

“At the same time we wish to convey our equal pleasure in taking the decision we did and for being true to our conscience; oath of office; the dictates of our true our true democracy and the rule of law,” they add.

In the past week they have watched with great sorrow and pain the Chairman of the Committee Kagiso Molatlhegi holding the Committee and operations at ransom by refusing to convene a meeting when requested to so.

“Such refusal comes in the wake of repeated request to convene a meeting to deal with the urgent pressing matter of the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security on the investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) against the Director raising questions of conduct that would seem to suggest inconsistency with expectations attendant to those who hold public offices,” reads the letter.

The two members made reference “to the DCEC investigations not to impute any criminal conduct on the part of the Director General.”

“The investigations confer certain matters of fact and inferences against which the Director General may or may not be culpable. The questions of his culpability or not is one for the court to determine. Incomplete as the suggestion goes in respect of these investigations; they contain damning information on the conduct of the Director General,” the two members state.

The two members say the Committee is enjoined by Section 38 of the Intelligence and Security Services Cap 23:2 “to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Directorate.”

“It was essentially in the context of interrogating the Policy of the Directorate on the question of whether or not the Director General could continue holding office with these allegations that we sought to convene the meeting. It cannot be reasonable argued that the Directorate policy provides for a person tainted with so serious allegations continue operating in office,” they say.

Needleless to say, the two members point out that “in carrying out our mandate as expressed under Section 38 we do so with the same powers and privileges under the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges Act).”

They say such powers and privileges relate to the manner and scope of carrying out their examination of the expenditure, administration and Policy of the Directorate and Power to order attendances of witnesses.

“The continued occupation of public office by the Director General seriously erodes confidence in our public institutions and the government policy and commitment to deal decisively with corruption by public officers. As a committee and indeed a government, we are obliged to allow the steady grind of the due process of the law to run its full course with hindrance, respecting and uniting our democratic and constitutional ethos and values,” said the two members.

The two MPs noted that the failure by the Executive to put its stamp of disapproval on this matter and the Committee’s lack of oversight thereon speaks volumes to the inherent weakness in the governance and operations structures of the Security Intelligence Services.

“It is our hope that parliament will seriously reflect on this matters with the view to amend the Intelligence and Security Services At as a matter of extreme of urgency. Speaking for ourselves, we refuse to be associated with such a deliberately weakened legislature framework and do so by tendering our resignation,” said the two members.

The letter concludes that “it is hoped that Batswana will constitute a parliament reflective of these ideals aspiration and as espoused herein as we head for the polls.”

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