Botswana: Periodic Assessment of Vip Security Normal

Gaborone — The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has expressed disappointment with media reports alleging ill-treatment of former president Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

In a press release, DIS explains that it is the authority responsible for security details of the President and his immediate family members, the vice president and immediate family members as well as former presidents and their immediate family members.

The statement notes that DIS periodically conducts security threat assessment of the mentioned VIPs as per the Intelligence and Security Services Act.

It explains that the review informs the directorate on deployment of resources.

The exercise may result in the scaling up or reduction of security details and resources, says the statement.

According to the release, the latest assessment conducted pointed to, among other things; an inexplicable disparity in the deployment of resources between the two former presidents hence the need to normalise and rationalise.

It says the exercise did not only result in scaling down of resources since in other instances they were increased.

The assessment affects both former presidents Dr Festus Mogae and Lt Gen. Dr Khama.

Another anomaly revealed by the assessment, DIS says, concerned the use of government vehicle registration numbers.

It was established that former president Lt Gen. Dr Khama continued to use vehicle registration numbers reserved for both the sitting President and Vice President.

"BX 0001 and BX 0002, as per CTO VIP protocols, are reserved for the President and Vice President respectively," says the release.

It says in the cases largely referred to in social media,

Furthermore, the statement says DIS established that Former President Khama has considerably more staff than Former President Mogae and no substantive justification existed for such disparity.

Accordingly, a decision was taken to redeploy some staff members who had been with Former President Khama's office for more than 10 years.

The decision was taken in the best interest of the officers in question, and included considerations for their professional development, training and progression.

According to the release, it is important to regularly review security details and resource allocation of VIPs in general and former presidents in particular; in order to avoid a situation where their security and upkeep is compromised.

"It would be recalled that there was an incident in the past where the late Former President Sir Ketumile Masire had his resources depleted to a point where they could hardly sustain him.

Incidents like the one cited here speak to the need to regularly subject the Directorate's obligations to VIPs to a process of review," states the release.

It adds that apart from the former presidents, other VIPs had also had their security details reviewed in furtherance citing former Speaker of the National Assembly.

"Her security detail was reviewed to a point where it was found that total withdrawal of security was necessary," it says.

The DIS says it is regrettable that this sensitive and confidential, information found its way into the public domain.

Because the media allegations were based on leaked information and have the potential to misinform the public, DIS had to set the record straight.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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