DIS meddling costing gov't millions – Saleshando

Dumelang Saleshando. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Dumelang Saleshando. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The president of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando, says government lost millions of pula because of meddling by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).

Making a contribution to the 2024-2025 budget speech, he said the intelligence agency interfered in a tender process for water supply and cleaning in Maun, resulting in the loss of millions by the government. "The Ministry of Lands and Water Affairs, under Kefentse Mzwinila, had issued a tender for the project, which was won by a certain company," Saleshando said. "However, the DIS intervened and instructed Mzwinila's office not to award the tender to the winning company, as they had blacklisted the company." In his address to Parliament, Saleshando claimed that Mzwinila had accepted to the DIS’ directive, stating that whatever the spy unit says cannot be questioned. "Mzwinila then told me whatever the DIS says goes, it can't be questioned. This led to the government losing P300 million that had been allocated for the tender," Saleshando said.

The Minister of State President, Kabo Morwaeng interjected, arguing that Saleshando is misleading the people as what he is saying has no truth. "What Saleshando is saying is just lies, and it is misleading," Morwaeng remarked. Saleshando went on to reference previous judgments by the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which have identified the DIS’ actions as violation of the law. "The High Court of Botswana and the Court of Appeal have previously made judgments that the DIS is breaking the law," Saleshando remarked. He also raised concerns about the DIS' authority to blacklist companies. He directed his question to Morwaeng, asking if the DIS had the power to blacklist companies. In response, Morwaeng stated: "The DIS does not have the authority to blacklist companies, their role is to investigate and identify potential security threats that could impact the nation. The DIS' primary responsibility is to implement measures to safeguard the nation as a whole."

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