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Batswana fleeing the country - Kgosi

Publishing Date : 25 May, 2015


Kgosi slams officials who claim he is the one denying people permits

The Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Isaac Kgosi, has slammed want away Batswana who flee the country for alleged political reasons. He labeled such Batswana as liars who have a weakness of not telling the truth and knowingly spread malice. Kgosi said he is ready to corroborate his sweeping statement.

The DIS Director General told members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) this week that a lot is happening in Botswana that his much talked about organisation is aware of. Kgosi started off by revealing that; “Of late, Batswana are fleeing the country in large numbers to seek refuge in other countries, citing various reasons for their fleeing.”

The DIS Director General said Batswana are fleeing to countries like Canada and Germany, among others, under the asylum seeker ticket. “When they enter into those countries, they tell all sorts of lies about this country; they say they are running away from political tyranny, corruption, Security agents, murder, mutilation and so forth,” he said. He further added that others say they witnessed people being brutally killed and do not want to be victims in the future.

Kgosi, who expressed shock at these reports, added that “in fact those Batswana are nothing but sex slaves, working in brothels.” He added that Batswana, he has realised, generally have a weakness – and that weakness is not telling the truth. “I have observed that Batswana have this weakness on several occasions,” he remarked to the anger of PAC member, Ndaba Gaolathe, who quickly jumped in to set the record straight and reprimand Kgosi.

Gaolathe warned Kgosi not to make such sweeping statements about Batswana as well as those who flee the country for whatever reasons they cite. “Moreover refrain from making judgements over people’s fears because the DIS doesn’t have the authority to assess or judge the veracity of people’s claims when they flee the country,” he charged. But Kgosi remained unconvinced and defiant, saying his claims are not a figment of his imagination but it is rather based on what he knows.

“I am talking about these things that I know because I have evidence and documentation to support my claims,” he responded. United Nations reported the same thing in 2014/15 in their mid-year trends term review report last year, where the international cooperation organ stated that over 200 Batswana are refugees in Canada, citing repressive homophobic laws as their main reason for fleeing the country.

Kgosi later turned the swords on officials who are in the habit of accusing the DIS of blocking investors to enter the country by denying them work and residence permits or delaying the same. “We don’t sit in such committees which decide to give or deny permits,” said Kgosi. This is contrary to what he previously told the PAC, that his organisation is the one that screens visitors.

The DIS Director General rubbished claims by the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism’s Permanent Secretary, Ellias Magosi who ascribed the delay to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and the DIS. Magosi had said they have, as a result, made a proposal to Cabinet to give their Minister delegated powers on issues of tourists’ permits. He admitted that Botswana spends a lot of money marketing its tourism only for tourists to be blocked when they want entry into the country.

Kgosi also rubbished claims from various quarters that the DIS has adopted the big brother mentality over other crime fighting and prevention agencies.  “We are not bullying them and we have a cordial relationship,” he said, further adding that they meet every week to look into issues of national interest and other concerns.

The spy chief further poured cold water on those who say the Parliamentary oversight Committee and the Intelligence Tribunal that oversees him are as good as dead, saying he is actually satisfied with their work. He ascribed all the bad publicity he gets to the media saying they are his worst enemy.

PAC member, Guma Moyo, at this juncture advised him that DIS is a sensitive institution which will obviously attract media attention thus he must have a specific unit to handle the media. “Your job is not to handle the media,” he said. Kgosi however said that he is yet to find the right person for the job. He further expressed certainty that he will be victorious at the end of it all.



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