Saturday, May 18, 2024

How DIS cloak and dagger agents gnaw taxpayer

Regulatory failure has allowed the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi and his inner circle to divert millions of Pula to a slush fund that push their snout into the trough.

Documents passed to the Sunday Standard reveal that one of Kgosi’s blue-eyed boys, Alex (surname withheld) who heads the DIS anti-poaching operation was bought a high cost house in Phakalane Estates in 2016 at government’s expense. Alex also bought a personal Toyota Prado SUV and the bill was passed on to the tax payer.

The DIS anti-poaching unit is being accused of running an ivory and diamond smuggling rogue operation. The DIS slush fund is over and above millions of Pula in budgeted tax payers’ money that is splurged on their lifestyle of beachfront villas, fat-cat salaries, luxury travel and champagne lifestyle.

One of Kgosi’s female pets, codenamed “Kenya” (real name known to this publication) who was deployed in Mozambique as an intelligence attach├® in 2016 was rented a beachfront villa with a price tag rivalling that of ambassadors.

Documents in Sunday Standard’s possession reveal an itinerary of business class flights for “Kenya” to South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania for meetings with Kgosi, despite austerity measures by government to reserve business class travels exclusively for permanent secretaries.

Botswana envoys in Mozambique mooted petitioning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over her preferential treatment and frequent luxury trips to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya for meetings with the DIS Director General although the two countries have resident intelligence attaches.

The decision to petition the head office was, however, shelved. While other Botswana intelligence attaches report to the DIS Director of External Operations, “Kenya” reports directly to Kgosi.

In another strange development the DIS bought a flat for “Kenya” and billed the tax payer. Documents passed to the Sunday Standard reveal that the flat was procured by the DIS Estates Manager, Kgopolelo, (surname withheld. Plot number also withheld).

The Sunday Standard can further reveal that “Kenya” drives a Polo Vivo which was a gift from a car dealer (known to this publication) who was happy with the DIS fleet procurement through her.

The DIS is law unto itself where normal civil service rules do not apply, and the Director General is known to keep government money in his personal account and to finance official procurements from his pocket.

The biggest beneficiary of the DIS largesse in the head of the intelligence Special Task Team is Wilhelmina (surname withheld) who has been codenamed “Butterfly”. She is a former First National Bank teller and an alleged die-hard shopaholic who is said to exploit her diplomatic status to go on duty-free shopping sprees outside the country.

The landscaping at her house in Block 7 is done by the same company (known to this publication) that tends to DIS offices’ gardens. The Sunday Standard can further reveal that surveillance cameras at her house were three days ago ÔÇô April 12, 2017 ÔÇô replaced at tax payers’ expense by two DIS officers, Alen and Makgowa (surnames known to this publication).

“Butterfly”’s Special Task team currently has 250 recruits who are being paid monthly salaries while staying at home doing nothing because they were employed before logistical preparations were completed.

In another incident, the DIS Director General is said to have recruited Botswana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Roy Blackbeard’s Private Secretary, Gase (surname withheld) and asked that her salary be doubled.

When Blackbeard refused, Kgosi re-deployed Gase in Namibia as an intelligence attache although she had no training, and doubled her salary. While in Namibia, Gase was tasked with running the Director General’s personal errands, mostly handling imported goods from Asia, mainly China and was provided with official escort at tax payers’ expense between 2012 and 2016.

Gase was recalled to Botswana and replaced by Tshiamo (surname withheld) who was recruited from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and deployed in Kenya with his salary doubling from C1 to D3 although he had no training as an intelligence attach├®.

Other DIS agents whose salaries were doubled were Livingstone (surname withheld) who has been deployed as an intelligence attach├® in Zambia and Chris (surname withheld) who is currently an intelligence attach├® in Kenya. Chris, a former BDP soldier in the ceremonial division was recruited as the Director General’s driver before he was promoted to Intelligence Attach├®.

These are not isolated incidents, but part of a continuum reaching back to the earliest days of the DIS. The DISS is not accountable to tax payers and is not audited by the Auditor General, and this was the idea. Sunday Standard investigations revealed that the architects of the DIS wanted the spy agency to be insulated from oversight.

The controversy surrounding the introduction of the DIS through the Intelligence and Security Service Act (ISS) Act of 2007, however, forced government to give in to demands of the dissenting groups by having both parliamentary and judicial oversight measures within the Bill, which were conspicuous by their absence in the initial Bill.

Without the political will, the provisions of the ISS Act are not being enforced to such an extent that they are virtually non-existent. Investigations have revealed that the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security never met for a year after the appointment of new members in December 2014.

The Parliamentary Committee on intelligence and Security is tasked with “examining the expenditure, administration and policy” of the DISS.

The committee, however, does not have access to any operational information of the DIS and as such has never submitted a report to Parliament as mandated by the ISS Act.


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