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Ministry of Defence Justice and Security(MDJS)



The Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security wishes to respond to an article titled ‘BCP Mourns Dirty Tricks’ authored by Kealeboga Botsabelo and published in the Echo newspaper (21-27 August, 2014). We find it compelling to respond to the negative allegations leveled at Government through the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) by the author and indeed his source, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Parliamentary Candidate for         Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse.


We in no uncertain terms refute and reject that a government institution being the BDF is being influenced by the BDP in its operations to achieve     a desired election outcome for the Botswana Democratic Party. 

The BDF is deployed all over the country to carry out its primary and secondary mandates. Anti-Poaching operations contrary to the limited and misinformed knowledge of the author, is not a civilian operation but rather a non-traditional military operation.   The Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security would like to make it very clear that the BDF will continue to engage in military exercises and operations for the safety and security of this nation.  Such operations will never be brought to a halt for any reason to include the General Elections as doing so would be detrimental to the safety and security of Batswana. 

The Author and his source should note that these operations and the prerequisite logistical arrangements will not be taking place for the first time during the alleged dates. They have been going on prior to the election period. Perhaps the Author and the Source should note that the alleged troop movements on the alleged dates would be relieving other troops that would be available to cast their vote on the day of the General Election.

It is very disappointing and irresponsible for the BCP candidate to attempt to score cheap political points with untruths and misinformation.


It is equally disappointing and irresponsible for the paper to publish dates (real or perceived) that could place the lives of our men and women in   significant risk from rival elements.


We would also take this opportunity to draw the attention of the Author and the Parliamentary Candidate to the electoral act that regulates the conduct of elections in Botswana. Section 61 of the said Act provides for special arrangements for police officers and any other persons that may be on duty at polling stations on the day of the elections. These special arrangements relate only to persons on duty at polling station and not anywhere else. Even if Government could want a special arrangement, the Independent Electoral Commission would be constrained by the law.


We also continue to reiterate the position that military installations across Botswana must not be viewed as open forums for political interaction.  The Military serves the government of the day and it is therefore imperative for the BDF to remain impervious to partisan politics. Likewise, politicians should be sensitive to this and not make statements that have the effect of drawing our men and women in uniform into partisan politicsWe also encourage our media and aspirants across the political divide to include Mr.



Dithapelo Keorapetse to engage the Ministry or the BDF in such cases and in good time to avoid knee jerk, inaccurate and sensationally irresponsible reporting as we have observed in the aforementioned article.


Samma G. Tabudi



FOR/Permanent Secretary

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