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.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.