The much awaited arrival of the controversial former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Chief, Colonel Isaac Kgosi finally occurred in the early morning of Tuesday this week, albeit without controversy as initially anticipated.
Kgosi appeared before the Broadhurst Regional Magistrate court for the first time in six months after being away in Malaysia where he was said to be seeking medical attention. Appearing before Magistrate Masilo Mathaka was Director of Public Prosecution Thato Dibeela, together with defense attorneys, Unoda Mack and Thabiso Tafila. The DPP moved an application to beseech the court to order the accused person’s passport to be seized thereby returning it to the Botswana Police Service (BPS).
Furthermore Dibeela moved an application that the court make an order to have Kgosi conduct a medical check-up by a government doctor through a report and an escort to the nearest government facility. Despite the heavy escort that was expected, prior to allegations that the accused was a terrorist, Kgosi was seen leaving in a government car with Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo of Serious Crimes.
The report that came back from the government facility indicated that the accused has a permanent injury on his back. However Dibeela argued that the orthopedic surgeon formed an opinion on the basis of scan result reports which he might have had sight of not the tests conducted by Marina Hospital.
When arguing on whether or not Kgosi should be incarcerated Dibeela indicated that, “the doctor made a recommendation of the accused person. The doctor needed to have more time to examine the accused person, however he recommends what should happen and facilities and immunities that should be provided to the accused person, we can provide those whilst he is in prison and all these were recommended by a medical doctor.”
Tafila objected and argued that, ‘State had always had doubts the first time they were given a report from Malaysia which explained Kgosi’s condition, now an independent government doctor here in Botswana has proved it, my client is not well. There are certain conditions that were made by his doctor in Malaysia for him to travel here.” When stressing his argument, Tafila pointed out to the court that Kgosi had promised to be before the Magistrate on the 3rd and indeed he availed himself, disputing that the State cannot act surprised by Kgosi’s arrival.
“He is back now, what more do we want from him? He is a sick person, now it’s like we are being vengeful. Why are we in such a hurry to keep him in prison before he is convicted?” he said. In delivering his ruling, Magistrate Masilo ruled that Kgosi’s warrant of arrest be suspended, “Kgosi has bridged his conditions of bail and that is undeniable but there has been consistency that he is not well and was today confirmed by a government medical doctor. His incarceration will not be the most considerable thing to do. He presented himself in court today. Besides his charges are not that serious,” he said.
Kgosi’s bail conditions include surrendering his passport. Exclusive information reaching this publication is that the former DIS Spy Chief once again beat the DIS, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Botswana Police Services (BPS), Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and Interpol at their own game. None of the aforementioned departments where aware of when Kgosi would arrive in Botswana. Kgosi’s warrant of arrest was said to have been standing and all were said to have been on red alert to have him arrested as soon as he entered the country.
Despite the common knowledge that was availed to the court through his attorneys; Mack and Tafila, the prosecution denied any knowledge of Kgosi’s arrival. A close source to this publication revealed that Kgosi evaded all tight security boarder checks via South Africa into Botswana from Malaysia without any one from the Interpol, DIS, DPP, BPS, CID dumbfounded the country.
It is revealed that most of the security agents had thought Kgosi would travel via the airport, where most had been on alert and were prepared to arrest him. Kgosi’s passports point out that he arrived in Botswana Tuesday 3rd, the day he was to appear before court. However the State argued that there were some gaps in Kgosi’s travelling documents of which Kgosi rubbished through his attorney Tafila, stating that there are certain countries that do not make a stamp, however they only produce documents of which he said he could avail to the court.
Kgosi is also implicated in the controversial Welheminah Maswabi code name “Butterfly” case in which they are accused of working together on common grounds with the former President Ian Khama, to finance and terrorise the country. Butterfly is alleged to have transferred the sum of P29 million to former DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi. The transfer occurred shortly after Kgosi had made remarks that he will, “topple this Government”, when he was arrested earlier this year at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
Butterfly was granted bail a week before Kgosi arrived from Malaysia. The nation was left astonished to learn that evidence against the accused was fabricated and false. On financing terrorism and being a terrorist is a charge that on itself which carries a life imprisonment sentence. The State prosecutors say this could be a motivating factor for one not to stand trial.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.
As murder cases and violent incidents involving couples and or lovers continue to be recorded daily, Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Dr Unity Dow has called for more funding of non-governmental organizations and accelerated action from government to come up with laws that could inhibit would-be perpetrators of crimes related to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Just after Dr Dow had deposited her views on this subject with this reporter, a young man in Molepolole opened fire on a married woman he was having an affair with; and ended her life instantly. While it is this heinous cases that get projected to the public space, the former minister argues that the secrecy culture is keeping other real GBV cases under wraps in many spaces in the country.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said there is GBV all the time in all kinds of places. “We have become accustomed to stories of rapes, marital rapes, defilement of children, beatings and psychological violence and even killings,” she said.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, Dow is worried that there is absolutely no social punishment for perpetrators; they will continue to have the same friends, jobs, wives, homes, as before. Yet another factor, she said, is that there is little or no “justice” for victims of GBV.
The renowned activist said justice for GBV victims is not just the jailing of the perpetrator. “Justice for victims means an agile, victim-friendly, accessible (time, money and procedures) and restorative justice system.”
Asked what could be leading to a spike in Gender Based Violence cases or incidents, she observed that there is no one factor to which this spike can be attributed. “The most obvious factor is stress as a result of economic distress and or poverty. Poverty makes one vulnerable and open to compromises that they would otherwise not make. For perpetrators with anger management issues, economic stress leads to lashing out to those closest to them. Another factor is the disintegration of families and family values,” she opined.
According to Dow, no government anywhere in the world is doing enough, period. “We know the places and spaces where women and girls are unsafe. We know the challenges they face in their attempts to exit those spaces and places.” The former Judge of the High Court said GBV undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in the culture of silence.
Asked what could be done to arrest GBV cases, Dow said it is critical to involve and fund civil society organizations. She observed that much of the progress done in the area of women’s human rights was during the time when Botswana had strong and funded civil society organizations.
“The funding dried up when Botswana was declared a middle-income country but unfortunately external funding was not replaced by local funding,” she acknowledged.
Further Dow said relevant government institutions must be funded and strengthened.
“Thirdly, create a society in which it is not okay to humiliate, rape, beat or kill women. You create this by responding to GBV the same way we have responded to livestock theft. We need to create agile mechanisms that hear cases quickly and allow for the removal of suspected perpetrators from their homes, work places, boards, committees, etc.”
The former Minister said the much anticipated Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Gender Based Violence will have its work cut out for it. According to Dow, GBV is not just a justice issue, it’s not just a gender issue, but rather an issue that cuts across health, education, labour, economic, housing and politics. “As long as any one believes it is someone else’s problem, we will all have the problem,” she said.
In her view, Dow said every work, educational and other place must have a GBV Policy and/or Code of Conduct. “It is important that we acknowledge that the majority of men are law-abiding. The problem is their silence, in the face of injustice,” she observed.
The State has chosen to ignore intents by kingpins in the P100 billion scandal to sue for a combined P85 million as tables turn against the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the matter.
Key players in the matter; the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Bank of Botswana (BoB) have eroded the prospects of success following the duo’s institutions’ appearance before parliamentary committees recently.