The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has reported the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security, Peter Magosi to the Ombudsman for acts of maladministration and abuse of office.
“It is our greatest concern that the Director General has overstepped his security functions and crossed into political landscape. His overzealous body guard behaviour, seemingly to impress his political appointer has left many Batswana puzzled by the state of affairs. The important question is, can an unethical and unprofessional public servant be expected to deliver on his mandate? In the case of Mr Magosi we say he can’t,” writes the UDC President Duma Gideon Boko.
The UDC says it expects the Director General of the DISS to owe his allegiance to the Constitution of Botswana. They further point out that as a civil servant he must adhere to appropriate procedure and high ethical standards in discharge of his official duties without political pressure and interference. The UDC also references on newspaper reports that categorically stated that Magosi was mediating between President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and former President Dr Ian Khama Seretse Khama. In their political feud owing to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) factional battles.
“After the BDP Kang congress of 4th April 2019, Director General of the DIS confirmed that he is mediating between President Masisi and Presidential contestant Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi for purposes of bringing unity tot the BDP.” The UDC, through a letter penned and signed by its leader, Duma Gideon Boko argues that the Director General of the DISS has been visible in activities of the BDP performing protocol duties for BDP leaders. It says it is essential to indicate that the Directorate of Intelligence Services is financed through taxpayer’s money, therefore it is abuse of office and acts of corruption for the Director General of the DISS to be facilitating and organizing BDP functions and events.
According to the UDC, acting out of his organisation’s mandate, the Director General of the DISS has been making newspaper headlines boasting that he is collecting Government debts, tax and making pronouncements on prosecutorial matters. “In this excited behavior he is usurping the functions of the Botswana unified Revenue Services (BURS) and Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which are supposedly independent,” writes Boko.
In the complaint letter the UDC is concluding that Magosi has aligned with the CAVA faction of the BDP and has been making reckless political pronouncements and exchanging remarks with politicians. The UDC further states that Magosi is on record labelling some politicians as liars. “This is very strange in that the Director General is expected to perform his official duties and determine the activities of the Organization in a politically neutral manner.”
The UDC President tells the Ombudsman that, “the ethical standards in public service that the Director General should be following are that civil servants should not represent or express their political views in performing their official duties. In actual fact, the Director General behaves as a complete politician of a certain faction in the BDP.”
Boko says as the UDC they are perturbed by the actions of the Director General of the DIS as they are unprofessional and unexpected of a public servants of his stature. He further writes that Magosi’s conduct is in contravention of the Public Service Act and Directorate of Intelligence Services Act. “His behavior is in contravention of these Acts because he is dabbling in politics. His leadership style borders on bullying and intimidating opponents of the President, to ingratiate himself. In the midst of this unprofessional acts, the Director General’s salary was increased by the President clearly as an indication of reward for his behavior, which we find disturbing,” says Boko of the UDC.
Boko says the Director General should desist from engaging in political activities and acts that are contrary to the legitimate performance of their official duties. “Furthermore Mr Magosi and his organization as part of the public administration should conduct themselves professionally to give Batswana confidence in the reputation of the DIS.” The UDC says it sees the role of the Director General of the DIS as much more strategic and advisory not operational as he is currently behaving.
“We consequently call upon your office tom investigate these acts of serious instances of abuse of office and maladministration which has compromised the integrity of the office of the Director General of the Intelligence Services itself. It is our greatest hope that you will expeditiously act on this matter in the best interest of the public,” concludes Duma Boko. A few weeks before he ascended to the Presidency on April 1st 2018, President Dr Masisi fired the then DIS Director General, Isaac Seabelo Kgosi and had him replaced with Magosi.
At the time Kgosi was regarded as the most powerful man in Botswana. When the DIS was established in 2008 under the stewardship of Former President Dr Ian Khama, Kgosi was appointed its founding Director General responsible for direction, control, administration and expenditure of the Directorate. The man who President Khama had fired from the army, Magosi was brought in as Kgosi’s substitute to head the Directorate and observers started reading revenge and reversals.
Ever since his appointment Magosi has been a very busy man, conducting operations and searches all targeted at former President Khama’s alleged allies a move that some labelled a ‘political witch-hunt’. But the emphasis over time has been the catch phrase, “rule of law”. It is Magosi who arrested Kgosi in what was termed ‘Hollywood style arrest’ at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport when the former Director General was arriving from an international trip in India. Kgosi has not been charged in connection with the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal which he is heavily linked but he has been slapped with a rehearsal charge of exposing the identities of DIS operatives.
In executing his duties, Magosi has seemingly won President Dr Masisi’s heart and has become a trusted man. Lately he has been labelled by some as the President’s personal security. He is seen following the president around at various functions and at times he is seen acting the role of ADC. He is also seen in political events where the president is in attendance a method which his predecessor Isaac Kgosi never adopted. But Kgosi on the other hand was seen as too close to be President and it was well known that they are personal friends. The UDC wants the Ombudsman to investigate Magosi and take appropriate remedial action.
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.