New DIS, MISA Relations Welcome

We read with interest in the Daily News that the chairperson of MISA, Modise Maphanyane, who also happens to be the regional chairperson of MISA has urged media houses to tread with caution while reporting about the sensitive activities of the Security Intelligence organisation to minimise exposure of certain sensitive information.

According to the Daily news report Mr Maphanyane was also accompanied by Aubrey Lute of the Press Council of Botswana, as well as representatives from the various media houses, including the Gazette, The Weekend Post, among others.

According to the Daily News and The Weekend Post reports the media was taken on a guided tour of three DIS locations in Gaborone and Kopong, in fact the Daily news photo shows a  group of media workers  with the DIS director General at a site in Kopong previously reported as a torture camp.

Interestingly the  journalists present  invited the DIS to come  closer to them and be readily available to  be contacted on news involving the  DIS to minimise damage.

The early signs are promising indeed as it is evident that both sides need each other as both do their utmost to take Botswana forward. It will be fool hardy to think of journalists as irresponsible bunch who would not care  about sensitive security natters during the pursuit of a scoop.

Interactions like the recent one  can go a long way in redefining relations between the DIS and the media.

In fact  we wish to motivate the DIS to do more to cultivate  cordial relations with the local media houses just as the Police, the BDF, and other  security organs have  been able to  do. While there will always be instances of clashes of interests, such instances  would not be an every day thing with proper handling such as the recent demonstrations.

While we are aware that other media houses were not part of the  historic DIS and media  interaction, we feel that it will be tantamount to throwing the baby with the water if we bash the DIS on this or start labelling the media organisations that participated, as sell-outs.

We salute the media organisations that saw it fit to be part of the historic occasion, just as we salute the DIS, for they had to start somewhere.

We hope the  media organisations that were sampled for this exercise would equally not feel that they are now under pressure to prove that  they were not bought or enticed; well done all of you.

Editor's Comment
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