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DIS closes Khama out in security detail case

Publishing Date : 03 June, 2019


The matter in which three members of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) who were charged with absent without leave early this year started last week when they appeared for disciplinary hearing. This week the three DIS officers appeared before a panel for disciplinary hearing and were asked to bring their witnesses.

However, the committee rejected foremen President Lt Gen Ian Khama as the key witness in the matter without giving reasons. The committee also denied the officers legal representation citing that the matter is still internal. WeekendPost can reveal that the office of the former President had taken the matter with Ramalepa Attorneys to deal with the matter. The disciplinary hearing is due to resume at a date to be given. The three officers were warned through a telephonic call not to accompany the former President on his controversial trip to India which the government was declining.

It is understood that on their response, the officers asked that an official communique be routed to the former President’s office. On the last day of the trip the letter had not reached their office and the three officers continued with their trip to India providing security for the former president. However, upon their return the three were summoned to the DIS office where they were charged with four counts of absent without leave for the four days. The former president has been at loggerheads with government over the India trip.

On the 26th of February 2019, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Carter Morupisi authored a savingram to the Senior Private Secretary to the former President in reference to his proposed trip to Dharamsala, India from 8th -12th March 2019. Khama had been invited by the Central Tibetan Administration in India to officiate at the 60th National Uprising Day on the 10th March 2019. Khama’s office had written to the Office of the President on 22nd February 2019 informing them of the trip for financial and logistical support.

“As you may recall, Botswana subscribes to the “One China Policy”, and essentially this means we regard Tibet as part of China. Furthermore, Botswana’s relations with the People’s Republic of China suffered on the issue of Tibet last; and therefore as a country we do not intend to engage in anything which can further sour our relations with China. Botswana does not recognise Tibet as an Independent State.”

However, Khama released a media statement confirming his trip to India and also his scheduled audience with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. He confirmed that he shall be among other dignitaries and other human rights activists. Khama’s lawyers were at the time working around the clock to get the matter resolved amicably. Morupisi reminded Khama’s office that Botswana and China relations are just warming-up as resuscitated by the recent State Visit to China.

 “It would therefore not argue well for the Government of Botswana to sponsor or support (financially, diplomatically or logistically) any personality, especially a high profile individual as the former President, to interact with the Tibetan Group, which is in exile in India,” he said.
In his savingram Morupisi advised the former President not to accept the invitation from the Tibetan Group.

“However, should you insist on honouring the invitation, then be aware that it will be difficult for the Government of Botswana to facilitate the trip for the occasion. This would sincerely not be in the interest of Botswana,” wrote Morupisi. The Tibetan invitation is not the first development that has ignited a confrontation between the Government and former President Khama.

Just recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had to release a statement rebuking the former President over his utterances directed at US President Donald Trump. Khama had labeled Trump a racist. None the less Khama held his own insisting that he is entitled to his own opinion and that he has been consistent in his assessment of Trump even when he was President.



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