China Jiangsu, a Chinese company that has been making waves in corruption scandals, has defied Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), together with the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) against all odds.
The much anticipated Chinese company was earlier this year blacklisted after a swift move by the DCEC in conjunction with the DIS for alleged corruption dealings. Magosi was at the forefront of this purported China Jiangsu, a threat to national security. In February 2019, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, issued a communique to all Chief Executive Officers under the ministry, this included Debswana, Botswana Power Corporation, Morupule Coal mine, Okavango Diamond Company and Botswana Oil Geo-Science.
The company which had been working on several projects at the time; including the construction of the Police Forensic Science Laboratory at a whopping P270 million, which was later terminated. The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), was then instructed to cancel the tender it awarded to the Chinese company after it uncovered the illegal deal. There was then a tussle of court cases, China Jiangsu taking the government of Botswana to task claiming unfair termination of their contracts.
The Chinese company then engaged a private investigator(names known to this publication), with the mandate of finding a way to get away with the security threat issue and find out why the company was blacklisted with immediate effect, as well as why the tenders were withdrawn from the company. According to the report the security threat issue arose after the company’s facilitators lost their position within the current regime with most of them out of power. In one of the recommendations the private investigator said: “The Company needs to move swiftly to the current regime and do the normal procedure which is rewarding potentials and building contacts and relationships with important players. The report further suggested that China Jiangsu needs to convince one of Peter Magosi’s deputies within the DIS to go against his boss for a wealthy reward.”
A close source to this publication revealed that PPADB claims that in awarding China Jiangsu yet another tender of the Gaborone Interchange project was an acquitted move of selective tendering. Adding on they explained that this type of tendering depicts China Jiangsu to be clean unlike when it is a stand-alone. In an exclusive interview with WeekendPost, Director General of the DIS, Brigadier Peter Magosi confirmed that indeed China Jiangsu was one of the companies amongst the seven different companies that will work together to build the interchange.
Magosi revealed that Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato did approach him when World Bank proposed funds to help build this project. Magosi reasons it to have been a tough call to make since World Bank already had in place which companies they would want to work with, China Jiangsu being amongst those. “We could not hinder such developments because of this, it was a win or lose situation and we had to choose the best decision for the country,” Magosi said. The DIS spy chief then expounded that, despite having perceived and blacklisted China Jiangsu from tendering in the country, circumstances like these need to be dealt with utmost caution as it might cost the country, hence the decision to bring China Jiangsu back on board.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.