Stock theft: a threat to national security

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 10 July 2019   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Magosi Magosi

The Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) came under heavy criticism sometime back from stakeholders especially politicians when it was revealed that they were involved in combating stock theft around the country.

DIS Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi reiterated that they were involved in combating stock theft and that it poses a threat to national security.

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Addressing the press on Friday, Magosi said livestock farming is the economic backbone of most Batswana and the escalating cases of stock theft are threatening the livelihoods of many. “Imagine someone finding that all his livestock has been stolen. S/he will get angry and sometimes take the law into their hands causing unrest,” he said.

Magosi reasoned that since most Batswana are subsistence farmers and once they feel that government is not taking action while their livestock is being stolen might revolt against the state, thus threatening national security.

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Corruption

One of DIS major concerns is escalating corruption, which he said is deeply entrenched in government ministries and parastatals. There has been growing concerns that there is no breakthrough in uprooting corruption as promised by DIS and Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). Magosi admitted that it is not an easy task to do. “Corruption is complicated because it is a web which is very difficult to penetrate through but we are getting there, but it will take some time,” he admitted.

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The first ministry that the DIS has been investigating is Ministry of Land Management, Water & Sanitation Services (MLWS) which Magosi said manages numerous multibillion pula projects. Although he did not reveal the exact amount that the country has lost due to corruption, Magosi said a substantial amount of money have been lost. “Right now we are investigating the disappearance of P2 billion and some officials have to account for that,” he revealed.

Magosi said some government officials have been living beyond their means and cannot account for their other sources of income. Magosi confirmed that their next stop is one of the parastatals next week but refused to name it though sources have revealed that it is Botswana Tourism Organization.

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BTO came under the spotlight last year accused of disregarding corporate governance by operating for years without a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a Board of Directors.

DIS audited

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Since it was established in 2008 DIS has never been audited by the Auditor General something that caused discomfort among some Members of Parliament.

Magosi informed the press that the Auditor General has since audited the spy agency and they are ready to appear before the public accounts committee. MP for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi last year raised a concern that should the then DIS boss Isaac Kgosi leave office no one will know assets they had.

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The only worrying issue for Magosi is the appointment of the DIS Oversight Committee which he said he hopes will be appointed and be effective.



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