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DIS makes headway

The Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Mr Isaac Kgosi has told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the security agency has made headway in thwarting some forms of organised crime.

Appearing before the PAC last week, Mr Kgosi said during the 2015/16 financial year, the DISS had made significant strides in neutralising a number of criminal syndicates involved in organised crimes.

Some of the crimes the agency had detected and counteracted were in the areas of poaching, illicit diamond trade, cyber-crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling, as well as cross-border stock theft.

Mr Kgosi told the committee that the DISS also continued to monitor the threat of terrorism.

He pointed out that though Botswana had never experienced direct terrorist attacks in the form and context that had taken place in other countries, it was crucial that the country remained vigilant as experience from other countries had shown that no country was immune to the threat of terrorism.

On the negative side, Mr Kgosi noted that resource limitations continued to hamper the agency’s efforts to discharge its mandate.

He pointed out that lack of both manpower and financial resources remained critical challenges facing the DISS.

“The directorate is lacking in skilled manpower and forensic laboratories to deal with cyber-crime and related security challenges. Funds to support maintenance of mission critical technology and secure communications infrastructure remain key challenges,” he stated.

Stressing the need for the DISS to upgrade its information technology systems continuously to improve its ability to deal with evolving threats to national security, he appealed to the committee to note however that intelligence and security equipment came at a high cost and were procured abroad in foreign currency.

Additionally, Mr Kgosi decried what he termed relentless attacks and outlandish claims about its budget allocations and the conduct of its work.

“It has emerged that the agenda of those who are most vocal in the attacks do so in an effort to goad the directorate to discuss and release classified information,” he said, pointing out that there was no security intelligence that could operate in such a manner if it was to be effective.

Responding to a question by PAC chairperson, Mr Guma Moyo on whether perceptions that there was a conflict between the DISS and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks were true, the DISS boss responded in the negative.

On Specially Elected MP, Ms Bogolo Kenewendo’s question on how the DISS dealt with drug syndicates as well as how water-tight the pieces of legislation on drug-related issues were, Mr Kgosi emphasised the need to have the relevant laws reviewed.

He indicated that the penalties that committing drug-related offences attracted remained low, and could thus not be seen to be a deterrent to perpetrators.

Mr Kgosi informed the committee that presently, drugs were high up on the priority list of crimes that the agency was tackling.

He observed that with 10 to 15 people being arrested weekly on drug-related crimes, it was also imperative that a special court be set up to handle such cases. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Keonee Kealeboga

Location : GABORONE

Event : PAC sitting

Date : Jun 06 Tue,2017

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