A alleged collaboration of security agents from the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), have last weekend invaded property owned by the former DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi, WeekendPost can reveal.
But other witnesses allege that the people who showed up at the farm are only DIS agents. The agents went to Kgosi’s farm in Lephephe near Molepolole in the Kweneng district and Sentlhane farm in Mmokolodi over the weekend. Eye witnesses at one of the farms said: “The agents forcibly gained access to the farm and started taking pictures. They refused to disclose their names and started shouting at Kgosi’s farm workers,” said a witness. It is believed the agents enquired on the whereabouts of Kgosi, and when they were told he was away they proceeded to take pictures without permission.
Security apparatus have been performing surveillance on Kgosi, tracking his movements in and outside Botswana. “Upon arrival, Kgosi was told by his staff of the unexpected visit by the agents. He immediately investigated the matter, only to discover that the registration number of the vehicle used corresponded with that of security agents covet number plates,” the witness said.
Kgosi is one of the key witnesses in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering scandal. At the recent mention at the Broadhurst Magistrate Court, the Directorate of Public of Prosecutions prosecutor Tyron Mokgathong indicated that the reason they were unable to proceed with the case was that they intend to charge more people in the case.
Kgosi has been linked to a contract signed by Government of Botswana and Dignia Systems of Israel. The Israeli company is suing the Government of Botswana for outstanding payment, after they only received half of the amount paid by Khulaco (the company that has Bakang Seretse and Botho Leburu as nominee shareholders), an entity appointed by the DIS to make payment in respect of the P250m anti-poaching and Security Intelligence contract.
Sources in the intelligence note that the intimidation and harassment of Kgosi by DCEC investigators has the potential to spill over. Kgosi has not taken kindly to this new development. He is said to have reported the matter to the Botswana Police Service because he believes he is being harassed.
While Kgosi has been removed from the system, others say: “He still holds influence at the DIS with some residual staff loyal to him and has continuously threatened to retaliate at any move to intimidate and harass him. At every juncture he has dared the State to make any move towards him, saying he has over 40 years’ experience in intelligence and will expose people,” said the source. The move to harass Kgosi however is seen as a surprise twist on the side of the DCEC. In fact Kgosi has been a star witness for the DCEC in the money laundering case.
In December he deposited an affidavit distancing himself from Khulaco, Bakang and Botho. Later on, documents proved otherwise when evidence showed that he was actually the person who had appointed the company to make payments on behalf of the DIS. Meanwhile some legal experts have cast doubt on the possibility of any wrongdoing by Kgosi in the ongoing money laundering case or the legal suit by Dignia.
They hold the view that in all instances he acted in his capacity of Director General of the DIS, and DCEC is seen to be overreaching by questioning the administrative processes of his tenure at DIS. “Kgosi on behalf of the DIS, asked for money from a fellow government department and he was duly given that money by Dr Obakeng as Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. It is a norm within government to request funding from another department.
As a matter of fact, recently the same controversial NPF got funding from the Road Fund. And this was not seen as corrupt,” said a source. Other legal experts hold a view that there is more in the NPF scandal. “Kgosi could have procedurally asked for funding, but the contract that he entered into with the Israeli company has so many loopholes. It is very porous and suspicious,” the source argued.
This publication is also alive to the allegations that the DCEC agents are living in fear because they are afraid of the former DIS boss. “They surveyed his farms for many reasons besides the NPF matter.” Meanwhile the DCEC Director General, Bruno Paledi has insisted that he is no pushover, acknowledging alleged threats thrown his way.
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.