Friday, June 18, 2021

Rebuttal- “BDF Intelligence briefs depict an army in crisis”

The BDF wishes to express shock at the recent article published in the Sunday Standard newspaper of 22 – 28 February, 2015 dubbed “BDF intelligence briefs depict an army in crisis” authored by an unnamed reporter. The BDF is disturbed by the contents of the afore-mentioned article which depicts the BDF as “an army in crisis.” The article carries a lot of inaccurate information and distorted facts which are narrated out of context. As much as the reporter has a right to choose what to report, we feel that our side of the story is equally important to give a balanced article and no such effort whatsoever was made to solicit our comment. The reporter purports that, “slightly less than three years after the BDF command ignored the warning by the Military intelligence and appointed Galebotswe to BDF Commander, the army for the first time this year will be recruiting about 1000 new members to try and stabilize the army, following unprecedented resignations and early retirements.” For the record, the BDF Military Intelligence reports to the Commander and not the Commander-in-Chief who is the Appointing Authority of the Commander, BDF as the newspaper suggests. Determination of who is suitable to ascend to the appointment of Commander, BDF does not fall within the purview of Military Intelligence given that theirs is to deal with operational matters. All organisations experience a certain degree of attrition. The BDF has never had any alarming number of resignations and early retirements due to disgruntlement. Every member of the BDF has an option to resign or retire as prescribed in the BDF Act and such separations are minimal and insignificant. So to make such insinuations that our recruitment is based on ‘stabilising the army’ is far-fetched and misleading. Recruitment of both Officer Cadets and Recruit Privates has been a continuous process throughout the years and it is based on operational requirements. It is worth noting that recruitment of over 1000 members per fiscal year is not new. Recruitments have been staggered at two intakes of 500 members per fiscal year. It is in this regard that we feel that the newspaper denied the BDF the opportunity to give its side of the story hence we view this as a deliberate move to give the BDF bad publicity and prejudice against the good character of the BDF Commander as the concerned article is fully based on conjecture from a bogus “intelligent report” which cannot be presented as fact. For the Newspaper to publish such reckless insinuations that have a serious bearing on the reputation of the BDF Commander and the BDF is preposterous and highly regrettable. As much as the newspaper has the right to inform, it should be mindful of the repercussions of such irresponsible reporting based on some bogus “intelligence report,” and faceless sources. We therefore, want to state that the article is not only malicious but has been written with the deliberate intent to misinform the public and put the BDF in bad light. The article further attacks and questions the integrity and command capability of General Galebotswe and depicts the BDF as “an army in crisis.” As in previous articles, the reporter continues to portray Lt Gen Galebotswe and Brigadier Magosi as having a poisoned relationship which marked the highest watermark during the enquiry over of missing equipment. Once more, we would like to assure the public that the BDF is a professional disciplined military establishment that has a set of values that promote esprit de corps among its members throughout its rank and file. The relationship between the Commander and his officers has always been professional and will remain so. Thank you, Tebo Dikole Colonel DIRECTOR, PROTOCOL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS BOTSWANA DEFENCE FORCE HEADQUARTERS

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