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Bakgatla pressurize Masisi to recognize Kgafela

Bakgatla tribesmen are at loggerheads over meeting President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi about the prospects of him dropping the government’s 2011 Kgosi Kgafela II de-recognition order by the then Local Government Minister Lebonaamang Mokalake.

For some time now since Masisi ascended to the presidency, the issue has been discussed in various meetings by the tribal leadership with Kgafela’s Mangana regiment at the forefront. Reports say the tribe became deeply divided, with some strongly advocating for the meeting while others (Mangana regiment) believed Masisi should come to their own backyard in Mochudi to dialogue on a number of issues besieging them and the tribal leadership.

The tribe want Kgafela’s de-recognition order to be dropped and they believe Masisi is the only man who can do that. This is fuelled by his recent and consistent remarks that he will do everything to ensure that Kgafela returns home. In a leaked audio, Masisi who was addressing the BDP parliamentary candidates retreat workshop in May was heard saying a lot of tribal leaders were unhappy with the past administration, an anomaly that will be a priority on his agenda.

“A lot of tribal leaders were also unhappy with us. The other even went to an extent of dumping Botswana for South Africa, Kgafela of Bakgatla. And we know very well that our country is not complete without our tribal leaders. We must accept this reality,” Masisi is heard saying in the clip to thunderous applause from his audience. “I will not rest until Kgafela is back home. I will not, I will not,” he added.

Fortnight ago when officially opening the 38th BDP congress in Mochudi, Masisi again reiterated the statement.  "Mmusi Kgafela is from the royal family and it shows that as the BDP we respect the institution of Bogosi. And as BDP we will do everything to ensure that his brother is backing home. I mean his real home. I will do everything to ensure that he enjoys the warmness of his home. Home I mean here,” Masisi said.

Mangana regiment’s Matshwenyego Ramotswetla has confirmed to this publication that they have pondered on the matter but never reached a consensus. “Since Masisi assumed office there has been talks about that but we were divided because others wanted us to meet Masisi but we didn’t agree to that because he was still new,” said Ramotswetla.

 “At a time when we thought we could do so, then President faced a challenge in which he had a feud with his successor and we thought let us leave until it is resolved, until now. There is nothing concrete for now. “The fact of the matter was to discuss the de-recognition order and dropping of charges that Kgabo is facing,” he said.This week Kgafela’s brother who is also contesting the elections under the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for Mochudi West, Mmusi Kgafela also confirmed.

 “I have personally met and asked Masisi to drop the de-recognition order, but he told me that in  his government sedibeng go iwa ka tsela saying that during his time as VP this issue was not on his portfolio. He even advised me to go seek audience with the then Minister of Local government Pelonomi Venso-Moitoi of which we never had a chance to discuss the matter until he was removed from cabinet,” he said in an interview this week.

Mmusi added that in the past they have privately met former president Ian Khama to set aside the de-recognition order. “But he said he couldn’t allow for that because Kgafela has a South African ID which I’ am not sure about because the last time I engaged him (Kgosi) was in pursuit of it but remember Nyalala Pilane did everything to obstruct it.” Regarding the possibilities of dropping flogging charges facing Kgafela, Mmusi said he has never put it before Masisi.

“It would be too much for President because we have independent arms of government and it would seem as interference from the top. But maybe opposition could have had interest on the matter.” Another Mangana regiment member who preferred anonymity said there is no reason to meet Masisi and talk about that because he has never taken the issue seriously.

“We once confronted him about the matter in Moshupa when Kgosi Mosielele invited us to a cultural ceremony but instead he dismissed us saying our attire is anti-system. So how do you talk to that kind of a leader who divert issues,” said the member on Wednesday afternoon.
Bakgatla will have to wait for Masisi to convene a Kgotla meeting in Mochudi so that they could seriously deliberate on the matter.

KGAFELA WILL NOT GRACE MY LAUNCH – MMUSI   

Speaking about his relationship with his brother, Mmusi says the relationship is okay but one thing for a fact is they don’t talk politics. “I don’t whether he will come, but wisdom lies on the organising committee. Invitations will be dished on the purpose of support. So how would I justify Kgafela’s presence? If he comes, he should do it voluntarily,” said Mmusi.

 “The thing is, if he comes he will be obliged to also do the same to others. He will rather come after I win. It will be justified to call him then as activities will not be party based but communal and inclusive.” Mmusi was to be launched today (August 3rd) but the event has been moved to the 14th of next month in Mochudi.

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State forged Kgosi’s arrest warrant

22nd July 2021
FORMER DIS BOSS: ISAAC KGOSI

In a classic and shocking case of disgrace and dishonour to this country, the law enforcement agencies are currently struggling to cover up a damaging and humiliating scandal of having conspired to forge the signature of a Palapye Chief Magistrate, Rebecca Motsamai in an unlawful acquisition of the much-publicised 2019 warrant of arrest against Isaac Kgosi, the former director of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS).

The cloak-and-dagger arrest was led by the DIS director, Brigadier Peter Magosi supported by the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force (BDF), with the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) which accused Kgosi of tax evasion, in the backseat.

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UDC parties discuss by-elections

22nd July 2021
UDC

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constituent members are struggling to reach an agreement over the allocation of wards for the imminent ward by-elections across the country.

Despite a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives (AP) are said to be active, but the nitty-gritties are far from being settled.

The eight bye-elections will be a precursor of a somewhat delayed finalisation of the brittle MoU. The three parties want to draw a plan on how and who will contest in each of the available wards.

This publication has gathered that the negotiations will not be a run off the mill because there is already an impasse between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which is a UDC constituent and AP (currently negotiating to join umbrella).

The by-elections joint committee met last week at Cresta President Hotel in a bid to finalise allocation but nothing tangible came out of the gathering, sources say.

The cause of the stalemate according to those close to events, is the Metsimotlhabe Ward which the two parties have set their eyes on.

In 2019, he ward was won by Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Andrew Sebobi who unfortunately died in a tragic accident in February last year.

Sebobi had convincingly won by 1 109 votes in the last elections; and was trailed by Sephuthi Thelo of the UDC trailed him with 631 votes; while Alliance for Progressives’ Innocent Moamogwe got 371 votes.

Thelo is a BCP candidate and as per UDC norm, incumbency prevails meaning that the BCP will contest since they were runners up. On the other hand, AP has also raised its hand for the same.

“AP asked for it on the basis that they have a good candidate but BCP did not agree to that request also arguing they have a better contestant,” one UDC member confided to this publication.

Notwithstanding Metsimotlhabe Ward squabble, it is said the by-election talks are almost a done deal, with Botswana National Front (BNF) tipped to take Boseja South ward in Mochudi East constituency. Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) will be awarded Tamasane Ward in Lerala/Maunatlala constituency, sources say.

“But the agreement has to be closed by National Executive Committee (NEC),” emphasized the informant.

The NEC is said to have been cautioned not to back the wrong horse but rather rate with reason and facts.

UDC President, Duma Boko has told this publication that, “allocation is complete with two wards already awarded but with only one yet to be finalized,” he could not dwell into much details as to which party got what and the reasons for the delay in finalisation.

Chairperson of the by-elections committee, Dr. Phenyo Butale responded to this publication regarding the matter: “As AP we contested and as you may be aware we signed the MoU with UDC and BPF to collaborate on bye-elections. The opposition candidate for all bye-elections will be agreed by these parties and that process is still ongoing,” he said when asked if AP is interested on the ward and how far with the talks on bye-elections.

Butale, a former Gaborone Central Member of Parliament, who is also AP Secretary General continued to say, “As the chairperson of the bye-elections committee we are still seized with that matter. We should also do some consultations with the local structures. Once the process is complete we will issue a notice for now we cannot talk about the other two while the other is still pending the other one”.

Butale further clarified: “There is no such thing as AP and BCP not in agreement. It is an issue of signatories discussing and determining the opposition candidates across the three wards.”

Apart from the three wards, there are five more council wards that UDC is yet to allocate to cooperating partners.

FROM PALAPYE MEET: BPP CAUTION NEC MEMBERS  

With the UDC cheerful from last weekend’s meeting in Palapye, the meeting however was very tense on the side of both BCP and BNF, with only BPP flexing its muscle and even lashing out.

BCP going into the meeting, had promised to ask difficult questions to the UDC NEC.

BCP VP and also acting Secretary General, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, presented their qualms which were addressed by UDC Chairperson Motlatsi Molapisi, informants say.

It is said Molapisi is fed up and concerned by some UDC members especially those in the NEC who ‘wash party’s dirty linen in public’.

Insiders say the veteran politician cautioned the NEC members that they “will not expel any party but individuals who tarnish the image of the UDC.”

It is not the first time BPP play a paternalistic role as it once expressed its discontent with BCP in 2020, saying it should never wash UDC linen in public.

At first it is said, BPP, the oldest political formation in Botswana, claims disappointment on BCP stance that UDC should be democratised especially by sharing their stand with the media. Again, BPP was not happy with BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando’s decision to air his personal views on social media regarding the merger of UDC party.

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DIS infiltrates Police fingerprint system

22nd July 2021
Makgope

Botswana Police Service (BPS) Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, has of late been dousing raging fires from various quarters of society following the infiltration of the police fingerprint system by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS), WeekendPost has learnt.

Fresh information gleaned from a number of impeccable sources, points to a pitiable working relationship between the two state organs. Cause of concern is the DIS continuous big brother role to an extent that it is now interfering with other institutions’ established mandates.

BPS which works closely with the DIS has been left exasperated by the works of the institution formed in 2008. It is said, the DIS through its Information Technology (IT) experts in collusion with some at BPS forensics department managed to infiltrate the Fingerprint system.

The infiltration, according to those in the know, was for the DIS to “teach a lesson” to some who are on their radar. It is said the DIS is playing and fighting dirty to win the fights they have lost before.

By managing to hack the police finger print system, a number of renowned businessmen and other politically exposed persons found their fingers in the system. What surprised the victims is the fact that they have never been charged of any wrongdoing by the police and they were left reeling in shock to learn that their fingers are on the data-base of criminals.

In fact, some of those who their fingerprints were falsely included in the records of those on the wrong side of law learnt later when other errands demanded their fingerprints.

“We learnt later when we had to submit and buy some documents and we were very shocked,” one politician who is also a businessman confided to this publication this week.

“We then learn that there are some fabricated criminality recorded for us, as to when did we commit those remained secret to the police, but then we had to engage our lawyers on the matter and that is when we were cleared,” said the politician-cum- tenderpreneur.

The lawyers have confirmed engaging the police and that the matters were settled in a gentlemen’s agreement and concluded.

All these happened behind the scenes with the police top brass oblivious only to be confronted by the irked lot, police sources also add. The victimized group who most of them have been fighting lengthy battles with the DIS read malice and did not blink when it was revealed that these were done by the DIS.

“And it was clear that they (DIS) are the ones in this dirty war which we don’t understand. Remember when we sue, it will be the Police at the courts not the DIS and that is why we agreed to a ceasefire more so they also requested that be kept under carpet,” said the victim.

Nonetheless, the Police through its spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, briefly said: “we do not have any system that has been hacked.” On the other hand DIS mouthpiece Edward Robert was not in office this week to comment on the matter.

Reports however say DIS boss, Peter Magosi, who most of the victims accuse of the job, is said to have met his police counterpart Makgophe to put the matter to bed.

COVID-19 RAVAGES POLICE

As frontline workers, Police have not escaped the wrath of Covid-19. Already the numbers of those infected has reached the highest of high and they suggest that they be priorities on vaccine rollout.

“Our job is complicated, firstly we arrest including those who are non-compliant to Covid protocols and we go to accidents and many more. These put us at risk and it seems our superiors are not bothered,” said one police officer this week.

The cops further complain about that working spaces are small, as such expose them to contact the virus.

“Some tests positive and go for quarantine while the rest of the unit will be left without even test carried out. If at all the bosses are serious all the police officers should every now and then be subjected to testing or else we will be no more because of the virus,” added another officer based in Gaborone.

The government has since placed teachers on the priority list for the vaccines, it remains to be seen whether the police, who also man road blocks, will be considered.

“But our bosses should convince the country leadership about this, if not then we are doomed,” concluded a more senior officer.

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