President Mokgweetsi Masisi has last month paid three former presidents entertainment allowances backdating from the time of their retirements.
WeekendPost is reliably informed that this came after former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama tried to engage attorney Dick Bayford to sue government for denying him the said allowance; State media coverage and to challenge the decision of government requesting him to route his official correspondences through the Office of the President.
Clause7 (a) of Presidents (Pensions and Retirement Benefits) states that among other benefits that ex-presidents enjoy is ‘Entertainment allowance as may be determined by the president.’ The law has always been there since the retirement of Sir Ketumile Masire though it has never been implemented.
Contacted for comment on Thursday, Permanent Secretary to the President Cater Morupisi confirmed that the three presidents have since been paid, “But with Masire, we are just waiting for his family to decide where to transfer his money,” Morupisi said, adding that the trio were paid at a rate of P984 per month. Khama had prior to this development written to Water Affairs Department requesting them to assist with assessing the conditions of the natural water springs at his farm in Chadibe.
“The springs have been used for watering plants and livestock for many years, however their yield has since drastically gone down, hence our request,” reads the letter signed by one Letsholo for senior private secretary to Khama about two months ago. In responding, the Director of Water Affairs, Bogadi Mathangwane requested them to channel their correspondence through the Office of the President.
It is said that, upon receiving the instruction from Khama, Bayford dilly-dallied to go ahead with a notice to sue, but demanded that he be allowed to first meet with Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe and get things straight. “He eventually met with Keetshabe and his assessment was nothing to sue for. It was just a matter of the two parties talking issues and coming up with solutions,” said a source.
“The outcome of the meeting was that payments would be made as soon as possible as it was just an oversight. Even him (Khama) had failed to pay other former presidents. It was also agreed that State media will cover Khama as and when resources are available and that it was not responsibility of government to assess his farm.”
On his part, Khama told this publication on Tuesday that government apologized to refusing to assist him at his farm and that other requested were cleared up. Attorney General Keetshabe would not be drawn into discussions: “As government lawyers, we maintain confidentiality on all communication with our clients. We are therefore unable to discuss such matters in public,” he said. WeekendPost was unable to solicit for a comment from attorney Bayford on the matter at the time of going to press.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.