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DIS 'thebeless'

OARABILE MOSIKARE PINI BOTHOKO TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Peter Magosi PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
The feared Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) is broke. The Peter Magosi-led organisation has blown up its 2020-2021 financial budget.

On June 2, 2020 the Director of Transport sent a memo to all directors and transport officers reminding them of vehicle maintenance and service.

For this financial year, the DIS has budgeted the sum of about P41,985,420 for maintenance and running (equipment and others).

The directorate was allocated the total sum of P460,534,510  for the 2020-2021 financial year.

“This serves to inform and remind directors, transport officers and section heads that the situation regarding the suspension of vehicle repairs and routine maintenance is still on hold until instructed otherwise by the executive,” the Director of Transport wrote. He said only vehicles under a motor plan may continue being sent to a dealership for routine and schedule maintenance.

He said: “Accident repairs are also on hold”. He added that the main reason for the vehicle maintenance suspension is that “the Directorate’s vehicle maintenance vault has depleted its funds”. The transport director advised his colleagues to plan trips accordingly and reduce non-essential trips and share a few vehicles that are serviceable. The DIS reportedly has a fleet of around 300 cars. 

Not only is the spy agency’s financial problems compounded by transport budgetary issues, but also by other fiscal matters. The director of finance reportedly informed his co-workers that the directorate was flat broke. “The operational funds that were allocated for this financial year were used to pay debts from last year. There was a lot of procurement of equipment and services last year in preparation for the General Election. Trips have been suspended, cars are not taken for service, no maintenance of offices, no maintenance of systems and sources are not paid,” said a source at the DIS.

He added that five DIS officers who are on trip in the Seychelles are stranded because they do not have enough money to return to Botswana. “The P15 million lawsuit has caused more headache because there is no money to pay for their stay there,” explained the source. The agents went to Seychelles on May 1, 2020 in pursuit of ‘damning’ evidence against fellow agent Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi known by her code name ‘Butterfly’. Maswabi, a senior intelligence officer for the spy unit is facing charges among them, financing terrorism. 

It is alleged that millions of pula were spent to pay ‘sources’ for the Butterfly case. “We used millions of pula paid to ‘sources’ that claimed to have documentary evidence on the P100 billion looted from Bank of Botswana by Butterfly.”

The DIS used

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to have a staff complement of around 2,500 and when Magosi took over in 2018, allegedly more than 200 people were employed for non-existent positions.  “He rehired everyone who ever got fired by his predecessor Isaac Kgosi and all his ‘boys’ from the army to frustrate those he found.

This thoughtless hiring of more people blew up the budget and the organisation has been paralysed because he spent all that money paying for new employees.”

It is said the new loyal employees were remunerated at two scales above the current staff.

“You will find a recent degree graduate hired at two scales above someone with a master’s degree. Magosi is hiring people personally, bypassing the Human Resource Department. The human resource officer does not have a job.” It is also said that officers are not accounting for operational funds after trips and non-payment of imprest by officers is the order of the day, as some owe more than P60,000. Magosi is also said to be using the DIS aircraft irrationally without consideration of fuel. “Money for fuel for aircraft exceeded the budget.” The spy chief also unilaterally appointed a garage to service the DIS fleet and the said garage is charging “ridiculous prices and millions were paid to this garage in 2019”. 

The source added: “The company, which is engaged for repairing vehicles for DIS is questionable because it belongs to the DIS boss’ friend. DIS had bought close to 60 second-hand Mogoditshane vehicles that cost us mechanical problems. Magosi had accidents with 10 vehicles that are a total write-off and the said vehicles are at DIS offices in Block 3, Gaborone”.

In response DIS spokesperson Edward Robert said it is important to note that from time to time as a Directorate they engage on internal conversation on such critical issues as prioritization and prudency in resource management. “Every organization does that. And when we do that it is not to suggest we are tethering on the brink of bankruptcy as it is being insinuated.

Government business is running normal here,” Robert said. He refused to discuss resources acquisition, management and deployment with the media and denied that they have any officer stranded in any place.

Responding to nepotism allegations against Magosi he said the Director General does not involve himself with such operational matters as which garage is engaged to do work for the Directorate. “The Directorate has in place competent structures to discharge such a duty.”



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