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Kgosi’s 250 cattle seized

A High Court hearing at Lobatse recently ordered the seizure of properties belonging to former Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS), Colonel Isaac Seabelo Kgosi. By this order Government has fast tracked the Setswana adage, Khumo matlhare ya tlhotlhorega at the Kgosi homestead.

Since his arrest last year, the Government of Botswana through Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) has been breathing heavily on Kgosi and his family on the basis of investigations relating to tax evasion. He has also attracted the wrath of the punitive side of the DIS Act for allegedly exposing the identity of some DIS agents whilst they were carrying out their duties.

On July 19th 2019 the Lobatse High Court registrar gave an order to the Director of Prosecutions in reference: Portion 83 (portion of portion 78) of the farm Sentlhane NO. 18- KO: Portion 83 (portion of portion 78) of the farm Sentlhane NO. 18- KO; Lot 61299 Gaborone; Landrover Motor Vehicle Registered as B 414 AXU, Land cruiser Motor Vehicle registered as B 975 BHI; Cows consisting of 200 heifers, 24 Simmentaller, 36 Brahman White (pure breed), 1 Brahman Bull and 1 Simmentaller Bull, Money amounting to BWP 549, 763. 07 held in Barclays Bank of Botswana Accounting Number 8624117 in the names of Isaac Seabelo Kgosi.

According to the order, the Office of the Receiver shall immediately take full possession, control and custody of the above listed properties pending investigations and/ or institution and finalization of proceedings for a civil penalty order and civil forfeiture order.
“All persons with knowledge of this order are prohibited from disposing of, further encumbering, dissipating, interfering with, attaching or selling in execution, diminishing the value of or dealing in any other manner with any of the property to which this order relates,” reads the order.

The order also states that the Registrar of Deeds shall endorse the title deed of Lot 61299 Phakalane, Gaborone specified in the order with the restriction that the property, or property representing such property, shall not, without the prior leave of the honorable court, be attached, sold in execution, further mortgaged or otherwise encumbered, provided that such endorsement shall not prevent a transfer of property effected in accordance with any incidental orders of the court.

It further says “notwithstanding the provisions of the order, any person who has financial obligations in respect to the property is hereby ordered to fulfill such obligations, including any obligations relating to mortgage bonds, insurance, vehicle finance, rates, taxes, licenses, utilities such as water and electricity accounts, and all interest accruing in respect of such obligations, pending the finalization of the forfeiture proceedings unless such person signs a consent to judgement in favor of the applicant”.

The order further authorizes any member of the law enforcement agencies to assist the Receiver to take full possession, control and custody of Kgosi’s listed properties. The order provides that the DCEC must in terms of section 42 (1) of PICA cause notice of this order, together with documents supporting the application, to be served on all persons identified as having an interest in the matter. WeekendPost can also reveal that some of the cattle transported from Kgosi’s Sentlhane farm died in the process due to starvation.

Meanwhile on July 30th Lobatse High Court judge ruled in favour of Kgosi’s wife Jennifer Matlho Seitshiro in a case in which the state through the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had evicted her from her home amid investigations on her husband. Judge Tebogo Tau ruled that Seitshiro should move back to her home as long as she does not sublet it or alienate the property. This was after Seitshiro argued in court that neither her husband nor she have been charged with any criminal offence relating to their properties.

The former Spy chief’s wife said through an affidavit submitted in court that even the DPP has acknowledged that she is the one servicing the loan and not her husband. Ruling in her favour the court had decided that, “She maintains the value of the property by amongst others not removing any of the fixtures, maintaining all the accessories of the property including swimming pool, garden, security installations subject to normal tear and wear.”

The judge further ruled that she continues to discharge her financial obligations in respect to the property including any obligations in relation to the mortgage bonds, insurance, rates, taxes, licenses, utilities such as water and electricity accounts and all interest accruing in respect of such obligations, pending the finalization of the forfeiture proceedings unless such a person signs consent to judgment in favour of the applicant (Seitshiro).” Isaac Kgosi is currently admitted in Malaysia for an operation on his back. The state had declared him a fugitive and obtained a warrant of his arrest, which was later temporarily suspended by the court following proof that he was indeed in hospital.

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DPP halts JSC, Judge’s back to work plan

25th January 2021

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.

JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.

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BDP rejects Saleshando payment proposal

25th January 2021
MP saleshando

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.

This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.

“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.

This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.

“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.

UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.

In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.

This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.

Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”

Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”

UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.

Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.

“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview
UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.

The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.

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Boko-Khama axis viewed with suspicion

25th January 2021

President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.

While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.

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