Political analyst Lesole Machacha says it will be an unfortunate situation if the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) could feel that Specially Elected Member of Parliament (MP), Unity Dow brought its name into disrepute in her contribution to the debate in Parliament on Wednesday.
“What Dow did was checks and balances in politics. It is commonly done in other countries that are developed. It's part of advanced democracies. There must be accountability in Parliament.
The DIS was formed by an Act of Parliament. If MPs believe that they are doing something wrong, then they are the ones who could review the DIS Act and ensure that things are done correctly or pass a motion that could lead to it being disbanded. Every government department is governed by the role of the law,” he said. The BDP chief whip Liakiat Kablay said Dow was merely saying out her views on how she sees things. “I cannot criticise or blame someone for saying things the way she sees them. Really, I don’t know how the party may take it,” he said.
Dow said they can all agree that good governance can be measured by factors such as the rule of law, participation, transparency, responsiveness, consensus orientation, equity and inclusiveness, efficiency and accountability. “When we promised this nation the rule of law we meant that we would run this country not through whims and fancies, not through force or fear, not through threats and intimidation, but rather that all persons, institutions, and entities would be accountable, to laws that are: publicly promulgated, equally enforced and consistent with international norms and standards,” she said.
Dow said in her view, the DIS has failed to deliver on the promise and as the three arms of government, they have failed in delivering good governance, in respect of the DIS. She stressed that this failure, is so critical, that it threatens the security of every individual in this country, "mine and yours included, as well as that of the State itself." The former Justice of the High Court said what is little known is that the Act did not just create the DIS as an ‘independent and self-regulating’ entity. Rather, it has a network of entities that were meant to oversee, direct, regulate and guide the DIS. She continued: “These mechanisms are the Central Intelligence Committee: Membership: the President, the Vice President, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister for Presidential Affairs, The Attorney General, The Police Commissioner and the Deputy Police Commissioner, The Permanent Secretary to the President, The Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, The Deputy Commissioner of Police, The Director-General of the DIS, the Department Director of the DIS, The Assistant Chief of Staff of Military Intelligence.
This committee has 13 members, and only two of these are from the DIS. Function (Section 26): “to guide the Directorate generally on matters relating to national security and intelligence interests....”. In addition, she said the public has always viewed the DIS as a monster; they feared it and that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. “We have allowed the DIS to operate outside the law. Absolutely no one, not even a judge, has the power or should have the power to a direct hiring or firing of anyone outside legally laid down procedures.
Direct the blacklisting or inclusion of anyone or company outside legally laid down procedures. Listen to private conversations outside legally laid out procedures. Arrest, detain, search and generally interfere with personal liberties, outside legally laid down procedures. Procure property with government funds or otherwise use government resources without reference to relevant laws and procedures,” she said. Dow said for those individuals who have been suspended or fired unfairly suffer a loss of income and the State end up having to settle cases that should never have been initiated in the first place.