Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said he is aware of Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter’s Morupisi’s maneuvers to sabotage and frustrate him while at the same using his name (Khama) to ingratiate himself to President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi.
Khama warned Morupisi that all that he is doing to him in his endeavor to protect his job will soon catch up with him. Despite escalating Morupisi to the position of PSP when he was President, Khama is now enduring a frosty relationship with this former blue eyed boy of his then administration, and he was quick to label him a ‘pretender’. The former President is concerned in his bid to please his current boss, President Masisi, Morupisi is doing so by undermining him, disparaging, frustrating and sabotaging him.
The PSP is the author of many of the letter and directives aimed at belittling or undermining his former boss. Khama revealed that Morupisi is at the centre of the infamous incident where he was denied a ride on a Debswana flight; he also spearheaded a campaign to blacklist me on government media; he is all over the country tarnishing my name when addressing civil servants; Khama said Morupisi’s crusade is ongoing, “but it will catch up with him.”
Khama continued: “Right now he is trying to sabotage me by announcing that I should not be allowed to sponsor football tournaments in villages where we hold Kgotla meetings, but I heard that people have told him that anyone is free to sponsor any tournament,” he said.
Khama said Morupisi has also moved to withdraw the public officers from his office. “There are public officers who have been seconded to this office and he has informed me that he will be withdrawing him, imagine there is no private secretary in this office at the moment,” observed Khama.
“In the constitution it is clear and stipulated as to how much staff compliment I can have but the PSP has the right to second additional staff anywhere but recently with this ongoing, he has indicated that he is going to withdraw that staff member claiming he wants to do things by the book meaning following the constitution, but the book also authorizes him to second”. “It is a deliberate thing to try to frustrate me but why”, he asked rhetorically.
The former President also revealed that Morupisi is also pushing to have the National Housing Appeal moved to the Office of the President, “but I have refused and made it clear that this is a private initiative.” Khama said when he left the Presidency the initiative ceased being called the Presidential Housing Appeal and it became the National Housing Appeal. “I have told them to come up with their own initiative at Office of the President,” he said.
According to Khama there are many houses being built for the less privileged by organizations and individuals, “I am wondering why they want this particular one. We are just going to continue on our own and build houses for the destitute people,” he said. The former President is of the view that Morupisi is on a campaign.
He explained: “When you have Ministers and other Permanent Secretaries sharing with me what he is saying to them, only he can explain. I have heard that he is feeling insecure that someone else is being groomed for his position, and he is trying his best to ingratiate himself by thinking that if he comes after me he will be a good boy and the more he does it he will be in the good books. It will come back to bite him one day,” Khama said.
According to Khama when Morupisi was PSP under him, he never allowed him to do the same with former presidents like Festus Mogae and Sir Ketumile Masire, going all out to try to disparage them. “He is writing me letters as if he is the Head of State, we don’t know how to what extent is he doing this on his own; and how much of it is delegated work. My life for the past 20 years and beyond has been dedicated to helping the people. Now comes a point in life where someone is trying to bring in personalities, jealousy, and pettiness. I see they are trying to employ the Bring him Down syndrome.”
Khama observed that the PSP was pretending all along when he worked with him. “You know some people will pretend that they are supportive of you while you are still holding leadership positions but you will come to know who your friends or true colleagues are when you are not in that position. Some people will be blown by the wind.
Generally we got on very well, but ever since 1st April, when he is seated with me he says one thing but when he goes back he is a different person because people come and tell me. He is definitely determined to undermine and sabotage me every way he can. There is no doubt about that, he is dishonest,” said Khama.
KHAMA NARATES SABOTAGE
Khama gave the example of an event he attended this past Saturday as the patron of Arts and Culture. He said he was at the Carnival Festival in Old Naledi where he was seated next to Minister of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development , Thapelo Olopeng and the event was covered by Botswana Television but to his surprise they did make sure that they edit him out and did not appear anywhere in the footage.
The next day on Sunday, Khama attended the combined church service at Boipuso Hall and recalls someone remarking to him that the event is live and there is knowhow they will edit him out. “They were told I shouldn’t appear, this is happening and it is unfortunate”, he said. In another event Khama attended Dikgafela in Kanye but when he arrived at the event somebody told him they were told not to invite him to the event. “I said to myself now this is getting out of hand,” he said.
IF THEY DID NOT AGREE WITH ME THEY SHOULD HAVE RESIGNED
The former president who has been accused in some quarters of dictatorial tendencies pointed out that decisions that are being reversed today were those of a collective. Khama said it is extremely insincere for people to claim that the decisions were mine alone because they discussed openly in cabinet. “If you sat down with people who are supposed to advise you, they should not keep quiet and say you were the boss at the time, that’s not how democracy works”.
He went on to break it further and said collective responsibility does not mean that always agreed on everything. Khama cited the BREXIT debate in the UK where the Prime Minister had to deal with a situation where some ministers resigned because they did not agree with her position on BREXIT. “The others who stayed in the cabinet we assume therefore that they supported the outcome. The fact that they didn’t resign and remained in the system shows that they were part and parcel.”
He says however it can happen that you don’t agree but a decision has to made and move on and support it. However Khama said the situation in America is a bit different. He says that what is happening in America, Donald Trump is trying to cast reverse everything Barack Obama did, and “this is understandable because they are from different parties.” He said a leader’s focus cannot be to undo everything that their predecessor did when they are from the same party. “But I must point out that the current president is free to do whatever pleases him, whether I like it or not, I can’t do nothing.”
HE WILL PURSUE ISAAC KGOSI MATTER
On the Kgosi matter Khama said he is still pursuing the Isaac Kgosi matter because the reasons given to him about why he could not appoint Kgosi as his Senior Private Secretary are not convincing. “I have been part of this system, we have been giving people who are about to retire contracts on special circumstances. I know, I have been in this government for many years and know how it operates. They can’t really mislead me, it is clear that this is a personality thing.
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.
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.
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.