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Kgosi dispels alleged standoff between DIS and Wildlife

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Isaac Kgosi at PAC meeting.PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
The Director of the intelligence organ, the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Isaac Kgosi has dismissed the alleged standoff between his organ and the anti-poaching unit under the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP).

There have been allegations, particularly media reports in the recent past, that the two government units charged with the protection of national security, which include environmental, do not see eye to eye.

It was reported that after the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama established a Tourism Intelligence Unit at the DWNP specifically to fight poaching, he started recruiting from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), which did not go well with the DIS. To rub salt to the wound, the anti-poaching unit has been well resourced. This stoked rivalry between the two organs with people accusing Khama of creating a parallel army.

However, Kgosi has since dismissed the allegations as perceptions created by people who do not understand the work of the two institutions. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, the DIS boss said to his knowledge there is only one national intelligence established by the DIS Act of 2007. He said what has been reported before are just perceptions published in the media, which he has no time to pay much attention to.

“I never fight wars from hearsays. As far as I am concerned, there is no friction between us and wildlife,” Kgosi said when asked what he is doing to allay the perception surrounding their relationship with the DWNP.

He continued: “As

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far as I’m concerned, I have no fight with any other organ. Those who peddle those issues should come and face me. I lead a team of professionals who work their hearts out. I know there are those who run to the papers about negative stories but I can’t talk to the press. I have given reports to government and I will be giving a detailed report to the Parliamentary Committee on intelligence as well”.

When Specially elected Member of Parliament Mephato Reatile brought it to him that it appears the DWNP does not need the assistance of the DIS in anti- poaching as evidenced by their recruitment drive and resource accumulation, Kgosi said as an intelligence, their involvement in anti-poaching will not stop.

“They might have specialised equipment or what but we will always be there to gather intelligence. We are not in any competition with them. Anti poaching was given to us as our number one priority; we will continue to treat it as such.

We will be going out to gather intelligence be on anti-poaching, politics or terrorism,” he added. Meanwhile, Kgosi told the committee that they have managed to detect a number of cases related to organised crimes such as poaching, illicit diamond trading, unlawful possession and use of firearms, human trafficking and corruption.



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