The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) would like to express disappointment in the deliberate misinformation contained in media reports alleging ill-treatment of the Former President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama. Among the issues cited are allegations claiming malicious withdrawal of certain government vehicles and protection staff.
It has to be noted that the Directorate is responsible for the security details of His Excellency the President and immediate family members, His Honour the Vice President and immediate family members as well as Former Presidents and their immediate family members.
In discharging this mandate, the DIS from time to time conducts security threat assessment of all VIP’s eligible for such protection as established by Intelligence and Security Service Act. This review informs the Department on how to deploy resources for the protection of such VIPs. This exercise may result in the scaling up or reduction of security details and resources.
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 normalize and rationalize to keep them at par.
However, the exercise did not only result in scaling down of resources since in other instances, other resources were increased or improved where necessary. This assessment affects both former presidents Dr Festus G. Mogae and Lieutenant General Dr Khama.
Another anomaly revealed by this security threat assessment concerned the use of government vehicle registration numbers. It was established that Former President 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.
In the cases which are largely referred to in social media, Former President Khama had continued to use these number plates even after retirement. In fact, he continued to use both registration numbers BX 0001 and BX 0002 when he was President despite established protocol requiring that the latter registration number be used by the Vice President.
Further, it was established that Former President Khama has considerably more staff than Former President Mogae and no substantive justification existed for such disparity. A decision was also taken to re-deploy 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.
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.
Other VIPs outside the Former Presidents have also had their security details reviewed in furtherance of this. The former Speaker of the National Assembly is a case in point. Her security detail was reviewed to a point where it was found that total withdrawal of security was necessary.
It is highly regrettable that this information, being sensitive and confidential, found its way into the public domain. However, because the allegations made in the leaked information have the potential to misinform the public, this leaves the Directorate with no choice but to provide necessary context regarding the matter.
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER