Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) has had its system hacked by unknown trespassers.Botswana Guardian is in possession of a leaked confidential document detailing names of security agents, their identity cards, last and first names, bank names, bank accounts, pay period, their gross income and total deductions from their salaries.
It is not yet known if the perpetrator(s) is/are within the system or is an intruder who hacked the system to jeopardise the country’s national security. There are fears that this sensitive information could fall to the wrong hands locally or internationally and further compromise the security of the country.
The DIS Act protects the identity of agents and other operations of the agency. In the long list which is provided in a spreadsheet format, some names of media practitioners (former and current) and a known politician from within the opposition ranks are among those who are on the DIS payroll.
The list is arranged in hierarchy with payment of high ranking beginning first and followed by the lower ranks and support staff. The payments reflected on the document were for the month of July this year. The opposition activist and the radio presenter each garner a Gross Income of close to P24 thousand while a former journalist’s salary stands at P27 thousand, this is according to the released information.
The list was sent to Botswana Guardian Facebook page inbox by a Facebook user. Botswana Guardian could not authenticate whether the names contained on the list belong to DIS spooks or not. Recently there has been media reports of possible infiltration of the DIS causing more tension and mistrust among the agents.
Allegations have been rife that some of the agents who for years have been close to former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi have not been happy with the way he was fired by President Mokgweetsi Masisi early this year. The decision has been perceived as an attack on the previous administration of Ian Khama.
Kgosi is a known close ally of Khama and the latter was recently left with an egg on the face when government declined to hire Kgosi as his Private Secretary. Khama has since filed a notice for government to show cause why he cannot employ Kgosi as his private secretary.
Brigadier Peter Magosi, DIS Director General who was in Maun attending Botswana Tourism Organisation’s Researchers’ Consultative meeting with President Mokgweetsi Masisi told this publication late Wednesday night that he is not aware if their system has been hacked. He said he would have to look into the matter first to see what could have happened before discussing it in details.
“I have been busy with back to back meetings for the entire day. In the past people have been messing with our system but I can assure you and the nation that we will get to the bottom of things. Whoever is involved in this will face the music I can assure you,” said Brigadier Magosi in a telephone interview. He said such acts that compromise national security would not be tolerated under his watch.
When he assumed office Brigadier Magosi promised to turn the notorious spy agency into a better, trustworthy and friendly security organ. He said the agency wants to play its role in a manner that will change this organisation and make it what it is intended to be.
Since its inception DIS has been marred by controversy with opposition parties and other pressure groups calling for the overhaul of the DIS Act.
Oversight committees of the DIS have also failed to execute their mandate and blamed the DIS leadership for not being cooperative. Opposition Members of Parliament have resigned from Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security leaving only Botswana Democratic Party MPs in the committee. The Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security is tasked with examining the expenditure, administration and policies of the DIS.