Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi has revealed that they have finally found a lead on the ongoing investigations relating to the hacking of the intelligence organ’s system last year.
In an exclusive interview with this publication last week, Magosi revealed that the system hacking ordeal has not only been a major concern to the current administration but the public at large. He said such incidents may be taken lightly but will prove to be a major security threat in the near future. “It has got serious security implications and a serious breach of security not only of the DIS but that of the country as well,” Magosi said.
Magosi explained that a breach of security gradually affects the socio-economic, political and social stability of the country. He went on to reveal that they [DIS] have a very good idea of where this is coming from. “But you need to understand that investigations take time especially on such issues of national security. They can take two to five years. It is not time bound,” he said, adding that he can assure that they have something, but need to do things under the radar.
Magosi further explained that the motive of such an act was done out of selfishness and deceit. He said there will be enemies within and outside the country and that, “Enemies within will work for the interest of the players outside whose big interest is to harm this nation.”
He pointed out that these perpetrators if not taken seriously, will sell the country for a plate of lunch.
“If as a nation we allow ourselves to sell our country for a plate of lunch it is niggling. What we see today is only the tip of the iceberg but below the surface is a bigger problem than just system hacking. Before we know it this country will be taken by those who take and go.”
The Director General made it clear that the incident of system hacking did harm the country, stating that it is no longer business as usual. He stressed that this shouldn’t be taken lightly. “In any country if there are two centres of power it is a serious problem. Tribal lines divide and changes the whole setup of the country.”
Magosi stated that following the recent security threats and many that emerge now and then, the nation will never go back to what it used to be. He said Botswana is in a self-destruction mode and that by the time many come to senses with it, it will be too late. The DIS had its system hacked by unknown trespassers last year. It was believed that the leakage might have been exposed by the past administration in order to destabilize the current administration. The allegations indicated that this was an attempt to cause confusion with efforts to discredit the current administration and portray them as reckless and incompetent.
nts, their pay period, their gross income, total deductions from their salaries and place of operation were posted on local newspapers. Allegations have been widespread that some of the agents who for years have been close to former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi had not been pleased with the way he was fired by President Mokgweetsi Masisi early this year.â€¨â€¨The decision was perceived as an attack by the previous administration of President Lt Gen Ian Khama.
The hack resulted in confidential information leaked to the public. The DIS data detailing names of all agents, their identity cards, last and first names, bank names, bank accounts, pay period, their gross income, total deductions from their salaries and place operations were posted on local newspapers placing the nation’s security in jeopardy.
Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.
According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reachingÂ WeekendPostÂ shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.
In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.
This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publicationâ€™s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, â€śas you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,â€ť she said.
She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.
Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.
Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.
Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.
â€śIt is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,â€ť he toldÂ WeekendPost, adding that â€śwhen a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolvedâ€ť.
Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.