There have been allegations, particularly media reports in the recent past, that Khama has established an anti-poaching unit under the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP).
It has been claimed that the unit was recruiting from the Botswana Defence Force and the Directorate of Intelligent and Security Service (DIS), stoking a rivalry between the government units, charged with the protection of national security, which include environmental.
It has also been reported that the unit is being well resourced, with some people arguing that Khama’s ministry was creating a parallel army. However, Khama has come out to dismiss that there is a unit named the Tourism Intelligence Services within his ministry. “There is no unit named the Tourism Intelligence Services within my ministry,” he responded this week in Parliament.
However, the minister explained that they have developed and continue to develop capacity within the DWNP law enforcement division to detect, apprehend and investigate all types of wildlife crime. “Members of the aforementioned department are empowered to arrest individuals and criminal gangs in wildlife crimes. My ministry deals with management of wildlife crimes without organisational affiliation,” Khama said.
wildlife crime are apprehended and convicted, the relevant penalties are imposed as prescribed in the laws. Furthermore, Khama said DWNP derives its mandate from the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act, which provides for designated operational responsibility of the director to enhance the efficiency of the department in carrying out its mandate.
He said, as such, the department has identified some necessary assignments like intelligence, anti-poaching, park management, transport, research and project implementation amongst others to enhance efficiency. He said on assignments such as anti-poaching and intelligence, they work hand in hand with Department of Intelligence Service (DIS) and the police.
He further denied that the DWNP is part of the Intelligence Community. Meanwhile, Khama denied that some members of the Tourism Intelligence Services recently arrested some DIS officers who were caught in possession of tusks. He said officials of the DNWP who carry intelligence assignments made the arrests.
When asked another supplementary question by Gaborone Central MP, Phenyo Butale who wanted to know if investigations relating to the incident have been completed, Khama said he could not answer but the answer could be provided by the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security.