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Was the problem with Kgosi or the ISS Act, 2007? (Part II)

Ndulamo Anthony Morima
EAGLE WATCH

This week we discuss sections 7(e) to 17 of the Intelligence and Security Services Act, 2007. Section 7 (e) provides that as far as is reasonably practicable, the DG shall take steps to ensure that intelligence collection methods, sources of information and the identity of the members of staff of the Directorate are protected from unauthorized disclosure.

This section cannot be faulted as it is common procedure to protect the sources and methods for all intelligence agencies the world over. Sources and methods are the corner stone of intelligence work and without protecting them intelligence work comes to naught. Section 8 of the Act provides for divisions of the Directorate, headed by directors, of (1) Internal Intelligence (2) External Intelligence and (3) other divisions as may be necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Directorate under this Act. Therefore, this section cannot be faulted.

Section 9(1) provides that there shall be personal protection officers who shall protect – (a) the President and the Vice President, and their immediate families, and former Presidents and their spouses. It provides that this shall be done provided that- (i) in the case of a spouse of a former President, protection shall terminate upon his or her divorce from, or death of, the former President, and (ii) should the death of a President occur whilst in office or within one year after leaving the office, the spouse shall receive protection for one year from the time of such death.

It also provides for personal protection of (b) visiting heads of foreign states or foreign governments; and (c) other distinguished foreign visitors to Botswana and senior Government officials when the President directs that such protection be provided. This section, too, cannot be faulted because the lives of the concerned individuals may be at risk because of the nature of their positions.

Section 9(2) provides that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law, intelligence and personal protection officers may carry and use such firearms as may be prescribed and may, in the course of their duties, use such arms in circumstances where the use of the arms is necessary and reasonably justifiable.

This section cannot be faulted because considering the nature of their duty, both intelligence and personal protection officers and their clients are continuously exposed to danger and the officers need firearms in the event the danger materializes. Section 10 provides that there shall be such officers and support staff as the DG may consider necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of the functions of the Directorate. Section 11 of the Act provides for powers and functions of such officers and support staff. These sections, too, cannot be faulted.

Section 12 provides for the making and subscription to oaths or affirmations by the DG, the Deputy DG (DDG) and every officer and support staff on being appointed to the Directorate. This section, too, cannot be faulted. Section 13 provides that the DG shall cause to be issued to the DDG and every officer and support staff, on appointment, a certificate of identity and appointment in such form as the DG may prescribe which certificate shall be prima facie evidence of such appointment for the purposes of this Act.

This section, too, cannot be faulted since it protects members of the public from imposters who may commit crimes or terrorize members of the public by claiming to be officers of the Directorate when they are not. Section 14 provides that the DG shall prescribe a scheme of service of the Directorate setting out the terms and conditions for the appointment of the officers and support staff which scheme of service shall provide for (a) promotions, resignations and termination of appointments of officers and support staff; (b) scales of salaries and allowances of officers and support staff; and (c) the designation and grades of officers and support staff.

Section 15 (1) provides that the DG shall issue and maintain a disciplinary code for the Directorate which disciplinary code shall provide for -(a) disciplinary offences; (b) the investigation, hearing and determination of disciplinary offences and the hearing of any appeals; and (c) the delegation, by the DG, to officers and support staff, of such disciplinary powers as he or she may consider appropriate.

Section 15 (2) provides that the disciplinary code shall provide for the following disciplinary penalties or any combination thereof- (a) dismissal from the Directorate; (b) reduction in rank or grade; (c) suspension from duty for a specified period; (d) reprimand (including severe reprimand); (e) admonition; and (f) recovery of the cost or part thereof in respect of any loss or damage to the property of the Directorate caused by the default or negligence of any officer or support staff subject to disciplinary proceedings where such recovery has not been effected through any other Government procedure. This section, too, cannot be faulted.

Section 16 (1) provides that an officer or support staff shall not- (a) engage in the activities of any political party or act as an agent of such party; or (b) in the performance of his or her functions or the exercise of his or her powers under this Act- (i) subject any person to torture or to any other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; or (ii) enter or search any private premises except with a warrant issued pursuant to section 22. Section 16 (2) provides that an officer or support staff who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

The former DISS Director General, Isaac Kgosi, has been accused of acting in furtherance of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s objects. It has also been alleged that he intended to use the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to rig the 2019 general elections in favour of the BDP.

In view of sections 16(1) and (2) supra, such conduct is frowned upon by the Act. So, if Kgosi, or his staff, indeed acted as alleged such cannot be blamed on the Act, but on them personally though government will, of course, be held vicariously liable if they acted as such in the course of their employment.

During Kgosi’s tenure, especially between 2011 and 2014, there were allegations that DISS operatives subjected suspects to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. There were also allegations that DISS operatives entered into and searched private premises of suspected criminals without a warrant issued pursuant to section 22 of the Act.

If this indeed happened, it is not the Act that is to blame since section 16 (1) of the Act expressly proscribes such conduct. It is Kgosi, or his staff, who would be to blame and though government would be vicariously liable for their conduct they would also be held liable in their personal capacities should litigation ensue therefrom.
 

Section 17 provides that a person who, without the prior written approval of the DG, in connection with any activity carried on by him or her takes, assumes, uses or in any manner publishes any name, description, title or symbol which is calculated, or is likely to lead other persons to believe or infer that such activity is carried on under or by virtue of the provisions of this Act or under the patronage of the Directorate, shall be guilty of an offence. This section, too, cannot be faulted. Without it, individuals, especially criminals and criminal syndicates, may, for instance, publish names, descriptions, titles or symbols related to the Directorate in furtherance of crimes to the detriment of our people. 
 

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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