· As President revokes the notorious ‘Shoot-to-kill’ policy against poachers
· Magosi says they are personal friends but not at where work is concerned
· Tshekedi felt ambushed when weapons of war were taken from them
The relationship between the new Director General of Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Brigadier Peter Magosi and his two former allies Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama and Director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Major General Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo has hit a rock bottom, this publication has learnt.
Minister Khama and General Tiroyamodimo feel that Magosi betrayed them when he ordered the removal of the weapons of war from their armoury without first engaging them.
In an interview Brigadier Magosi confirmed that he has a personal relationship with Minister Tshekedi Khama but denied allegations that he worked for the Tourism Intelligence Unit.
“We are personal friends with Minister Khama but when it comes to work is something else. We will continue working with DWNP in combating poaching,” he said, confirming that indeed they have taken some weapons belonging to DWNP.
In a move that shocked Khama and General Tiroyamodimo, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has revoked the shoot- to-kill policy which has caused tension between Botswana and its neighbouring countries, particularly Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Information gathered by this publication has revealed that DWNP might also lose the four Jabiru J430 aircrafts they procured in 2015 to DISS and BDF.
The department is also building anti-poaching camps in Kasane, Maun and Kang. The design for the three camps which will cost P70 million each has already been completed. DWNP is said to have overstepped their mandate and created unnecessary tension among the security forces.
Members of DWNP are not treated as part of the disciplined forces and are not allowed to carry weapons of war as it is against the law.
“The reason BDF and DISS have anti-poaching units is on the basis that they work with officials from DWNP when dealing with poachers as they are protected by the law to carry weapons of war,” revealed one member of the disciplined forces.
The Ministry might also lose their P45 million King Air 350 Beechcraft airplane which is equipped with Wi-Fi, Lear jet style beige leather seats and hi-tech avionics.
Though DWNP started to procure the weapons of war before the arrival of Minister Khama it was accelerated during his tenure including construction of camps around the country.
The arming to teeth of DWNP created tension with other security agencies, especially BDF and DISS as the department was also recruiting their personnel.
Khama recruited General Tiroyamodimo in 2015 as Director of DWNP, three years after he left BDF as deputy Commander.
In 2016, the DWNP put an advert recruiting engineers and started poaching from BDF and Botswana Police. It is understood that the ministry was offering better remuneration for the officers that it recruits from other government security agencies.
In 2017 after President Khama relieved former commander of the ground forces Brigadier Magosi from his duties and that’s when Minister Khama tried to recruit him in order to resuscitate the Tourism Intelligence Services.
Though Khama denied that he joined the DWNP as deputy Director, highly placed sources have revealed that Magosi was engaged as a consultant and was instrumental in recruiting members of the Special Forces to DWNP as anti-poaching officers.
Praising Magosi in an interview in 2017 Khama said that, “You know this is the thing that bothers me; the way he understands the military and anything involving military, he will be such an asset because that knowledge is within him.”
Contacted for comment, Minister Khama said that he is out of the country and will grant the interview when coming back.