The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) is reported to be at an advanced stage of turning Botswana into a huge Guantanamo style security intelligence detention centre with scores of high security offices sprouting all over the country and no fewer than seven have already been erected in Gaborone. All the buildings have similar security features ÔÇô cameras, electric fence, tinted windows, one or two vehicles in a parking lot while the inner workings of the occupants of the building remain more secretive than America’s CIA.
The DIS has its Headquarters at the Gaborone Main Mall, a branch in the vicinity of the Central Police Station, another one at Broadhurst, one at Block 8, one at Sebele north of Gaborone, another branch in the vicinity of the Botswana Power Corporation Headquarters and yet another branch at Commerce Park south of Gaborone. Sunday Standard investigations can reveal that the high security intelligence buildings are fitted with detention cells and torture chambers.Two soldiers and two policemen have in the past filed reports that they were severely beaten and humiliated in a torture chamber at one of the DIS offices in Gaborone.
Why would the DIS want to have so many offices with detention cells and torture chambers in a space of five years concentrated in one city? Sources close to the intelligence outfit claim this is part of a bigger plan to turn Botswana into a huge Guantanamo Bay style high security intelligence detention centre. No one in authority is willing to tell the nation why Botswana needs so many DIS offices with detention cells and torture chambers in Gaborone. The small but very powerful security intelligence establishment was created by an Act of Parliament (The Intelligence and Security Services Act of 1997) yet it is only accountable to the President. The Office of the President (OP) refused to answer questions sent by theSunday Standard while the DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi would not answer our calls.
Most of the DIS high security intelligence structures were built by Zambian national, a Mr NM Jere of Power Force who also built DIS Director General’s private residence in Phakalane Estates and President Ian Khama’s private residence at the controversial Mosu Air strip. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence, Kagiso Molatlhegi, who is Member of Parliament for Gaborone South, was terrified to offer a comment.“I don’t want to discuss anything that has got to do with the DIS with the media. Ask them whatever you want to know,”’ said Molatlhegi.
Guant├ínamo Bay Detention Camp, also known as Gitmo or GTMO, is a group of high security prisons or detainee centers, run by the US Military and located in Cuba at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. The base was first used in the early 70s to hold refugees of Haiti and Cuba who were discovered trying to enter the US via the waters around Florida.
In 1993, the US Supreme Court declared that the base couldn’t legally hold Haitian refugees in this manner, and for a time, any holding facilities were abandoned. After 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on America, the government reestablished Guant├ínamo Bay Detention Camp as a holding facility for people deemed “unlawful combatants.” This could include US citizens or residents, and was primarily meant to hold anyone suspected of terrorism, and the various prison camps, of which there are several, have also held people from Afghanistan and other countries who are supposed to have links to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamic terrorist organizations.