DIS boss REPORTED to Ombudsman

SHARE   |   Thursday, 16 May 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
STARRING: DIS boss Peter Magosi's conduct has raised eyebrows in some quarters STARRING: DIS boss Peter Magosi's conduct has raised eyebrows in some quarters

The Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Peter Magosi, could soon be a subject of an investigation by the Ombudsman –a local version of the Public Protector – following a report filed against him by the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) on Friday, The Patriot on Sunday can reveal.

Ombudsman Augustine Makgonatsotlhe has been called to reign in Magosi, whom in his overzealous bodyguard theatrics akin to starring in Hollywood spy movies – in an attempt to impress his appointer President Mokgweetsi Masisi – may have overstepped his security mandate and veered into the political terrain.

Describing Magosi’s conduct as unethical and unprofessional for a civil servant, the UDC argues, in a complaint letter signed by party president Duma Boko and hand delivered to the Ombudsman on Friday afternoon that they doubt if he can deliver on his duties as expected.

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Magosi's conduct threatens to tarnish and downgrade Botswana's democratic credentials, the UDC complains.

The UDC says the DIS Director is expected to owe his allegiance to the Constitution of Botswana and not individual officer bearers and their political organisations. "As a civil servant he must adhere to appropriate procedure and high ethical standards in discharge of his official duties without political pressure or interference," reads part of the letter.

Their biggest concern emanates from reports, where Magosi was quoted confirming that he is mediating the political feud between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama in their BDP factional battles. Magosi had also confirmed after the BDP Congress in Kang on 4th April 2019 that he is mediating between Masisi and BDP presidential aspirant Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi to bring unity within the party after the latter was annihilated at the polls.

The UDC complain that Magosi seems to be aligned to CAVA faction of the BDP in line with political statements he has been making and exchanging remarks with politicians, for example, when quoted saying some politician was lying. "This shows lack of political neutrality. The ethical standards in public service that the Director of DIS should be following are that civil servants should not represent or express their political views in performing their official duties. The Director behaves as a complete politician of a certain faction in BDP,” submits the UDC.

Magosi is also accused of usurping the functions of Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) when he boasted to journalists that he is busy collecting government debts, tax and will be reigning in people before courts for prosecution. Further, the UDC complains that Magosi has been visible in BDP activities performing protocol duties for the party leaders. “It is abuse of office and acts of corruption for the Director of DIS to be facilitating and organizing BDP functions and events. We see the role of Director of DISS as much more strategic and advisory not operational as he is currently behaving,” the UDC wrote. 

Makgonatsotlhe confirmed on Friday afternoon that he had been notified by his office that the UDC letter was received earlier the same day. "We have not had the opportunity to study the contents of the letter as we have been in a meeting outside the office. We will look into it starting next week," he said.