The Director General of Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Brigadier Peter Fana Magosi has confirmed media speculation that the life of President Mokgweetsi Masisi is under threat.
Addressing members of the media of Friday, Magosi revealed that the security of the president is no longer the same as it was in the past due to the current political situation in the country. “It is a fact that the security situation has shifted due to the internal political squabbles in the country. The perceived two centres of power have created the problem with some non-state actors involved,” he revealed.
Magosi said there are some non-state actors who have interest in the natural resources of the country and the current political climate which is not conducive has created a room for them to exploit the situation. The perceived centres of power, according to DIS boss, have created division among the nation with some decision makers influenced to make corrupt decisions which might put the security of the country at risk.
Magosi said DIS investigations have shown that there is an appetite for a coup d'état but it has not reached a situation where it can pose a threat to the country. This, he said is caused by some external forces who have interest in the natural resources of the country. “Once you have a non-state actor who believes that s/he has interest in the natural resources of this country then security will be compromised,” he said, declining to reveal the non-state actors.
Assuring Batswana that the DIS has the situation under control, Magosi said they have since established a pattern of the non-state actors who are involved, adding that while some are within the region others are in Europe.
Masisi under threat
Recently there were reports that President Masisi had to make a mid-air return to Botswana after it was alleged that there was threat to his life. Magosi revealed that he had to order the Presidential crew to abandon an official trip to Mozambique and make a mid-air turn around back to Botswana after they discovered that his security was compromised.
According to Magosi, had he not made that decision, the country will be talking about a different story and that would have been irresponsible on his side. “I was in Mozambique and after consulting with our counterparts in Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe we advised that President Masisi should not land in Maputo,” he said.
Narrating other incidents that have convinced them further that Masisi's security is under threat, he revealed that during a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) meeting in Palapye early this year, a former DIS officer was arrested in a hotel for carrying a gas pistol. “He is a former member of the DIS and BDF. He knows that protocol does not allow anyone to have a gun except presidential security detail at any place where the president is,” he said, adding that the former DIS officer now works for Avante Securities. The officer was handed over to the police who are continuing the investigations.
In another incident, Magosi said that power was once cut off at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport when Masisi's aircraft was landing, something that has never happened before. “We won’t share more details because by so doing we will be alerting those who want to assassinate the president,” he said.
Isolate state house
Due to the shift in the security of the head of state, Magosi said they are not comfortable with the State House sharing boundaries with private properties. “We have proposed that those properties sharing the boundary with the State House should be relocated because it really compromises the security of the president,” he said.
As per protocol DIS is in charge of security of former Heads of State. Magosi revealed that and expressed concern about the security detail of former President Ian Khama. “My concern is that he has brought in some people as part of his security; a situation which we are not comfortable with. If during the convoy there is an accident who is going to account for the people he has brought in,” he asked rhetorically.