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Divisions rock DIS some want Magosi fired

Dissenting voices associated with the previous administration at the country’s spy agency, Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) are throwing down the gauntlet and want their boss, Brigadier Peter Magosi relieved of his duties as the chief spy.

Magosi is the current Director General of the DIS after taking over from Colonel Isaac Kgosi, who was fired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi barely a month after becoming President in 2018. The country’s intelligence organ is reported to be facing a lot of challenges following the arrival Magosi, the development which has been confirmed by the intelligence chief himself.  According to sources within the DIS, some agents want Magosi fired from his position as the Director General because they believe that he is incompetent and lacks necessary experience to lead the organisation.

Some senior employees who spoke on condition of anonymity told WeekendPost that a series of letters have been exchanged between concerned employees and the DIS senior management. It is alleged that in his response, Magosi has threated to fire his two deputies; Modiri Keoagile and Tefo Kgotlhane. Magosi is accusing the duo of failing him in his absence and conniving with the previous regime to act against the interest of the DIS.

It is reported that DIS has recently employed two prominent ex- soldiers who have already assumed duty at senior managerial level. Even though their roles have not been clearly outlined, it is believed that one of them will be tasked with the responsibility of managing the DIS fleet. The recent commotion at the DIS however is blamed on Magosi who is believed to have shifted his focus to just pleasing Masisi, rather than intelligence matters affecting the organisation.

Early this year WeekendPost reported that President Masisi silently promoted Magosi to a super scale moving him from F1 to F0 but leaving behind his two deputies, a move that triggered distraught amongst his employees who still complain about low salaries amongst other things. It is also alleged that with the absence of Magosi on the ground, the organisation is marred by distrust, with cases of backstabbing, jealousy and falsehood rampant.

It is alleged that the officers have appealed for the return of Isaac Kgosi. Having been at the helm of the institution since its inception in 2008, Kgosi is the mastermind behind the spy agency. Kgosi is currently in Malaysia seeking medical attention after complaining of back pains for a long time now.

An ally of former President Lt Gen Ian Khama, Kgosi was for a long time part of Khama’s inner circle and was relieved off his duties four years before seeing out his contract. The 60 year-old Kgosi has always been marred by controversy – his person being implicated in a number of corruption cases, and was replaced by his long-time nemesis, Magosi.

Contrary to his background, Magosi’s name was under the spotlight for his alleged hand in the infamous killing of John Kalafatis and later the missing spy equipment and was fired by Khama back in 2016 from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Chief of Staff and Commander of Ground Forces position. Confirming the news to WeekendPost Magosi said he is aware of some non-security personnel within the Directorate who want him removed from the position of Director General.

Magosi said it is nothing strange as the concerned people think he is favouring some ex-soldiers that he brought with him from the BDF. “Its nature. You will not always get what you want in life and under such circumstances one is forced to react. I can confirm that they want me fired,” said Magosi. The Director General also confirmed that the DIS has employed two prominent ex- soldiers (names withheld) to join the Directorate but denied allegations that he wants to fire his two deputies.

However, Magosi said the roles and names of the two ex- soldiers could not be made public according to the DIS act as this will expose them to danger.  According to Magosi this is operational information that he could not share. The Director General also confirmed that his institution is still divided as there are some people who are still loyal and conniving with the previous regime. It is alleged that some of Magosi’s officers are still loyal to Isaac Kgosi and former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and hence are calling for Kgosi’s return.

In an interview with WeekendPost early this year Magosi said: “I am an experienced Special Forces Operatives, Experienced Intelligence Officer, I have done them at tactical, operational and strategic levels. This put me as a qualified person to understand the socio- political landscape of this country. I do not blame those who see me behind the President and blame for doing my job. Their level of understanding cannot match mine.” 

Magosi said Botswana has for a long time experienced overwhelming corruption at the highest level and nothing seems to be done about it; and if left unattended the corruption manifests to become a security threat.  “Botswana has mineral resources and now we have unorthodox interested parties from outside the country and this has become a problem that needs to be attended to,” he said. Since its establishment, the intelligence unit has been marred by controversy, and has been of interest to the media and other notable watchdogs including parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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