A Police Officer investigating a case in which a Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) official was nabbed for drunken driving during surveillance this week fell short of admitting that the organ officials are above the law.
The DIS operative, Galani Nnadzwa has been accused and warned of drunken driving while “on duty” but he is yet to be charged and face the wrath of the law. The DIS agent was involved in a freak accident with one Tapiwa Ndwapi and only Ndwapi got charged despite both having been found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol.
A lawyer representing Ndwapi, Uyapo Ndadi of Ndadi law Firm told the WeekendPost: “my client got involved in a motor vehicle accident with a security agent on duty. They were both drunk but they only charged my client.” When further interrogating the investigating officer, Molefhi Seleke before Gaborone Extension II Magistrate, Lenthabile Willy in court, Ndadi asked why the DIS agent was not charged and whether he was above the law.
In response, the investigating officer said he did his part in the matter by investigating and has since passed the case to the Police Prosecuting unit. “The only information I have at this time is that the case is at prosecuting Unit,” he said. He further confirmed that it has been more than two years and nothing has happened since the case has been there and no charge has been laid on the DIS personnel. This is despite the fact that the other party had been arraigned before court several times.
“The accused, my client has a charge sheet already. She appeared before here. She is here facing charges. But they committed the same offence,” Ndadi insisted, adding that his client was even denied legal representation prior to taking the breathalyzer test. However the DIS official maintained to court that he drank and drove because he was on duty. “It was done because I was on duty at the time,” he maintained.
Ndadi then interjected to ask him whether the law allows for drunken driving by the intelligence operatives even though it puts other lives in danger. In response Nnandzwa said the law allows for no drinking and driving but “with exceptions” to the spy agency as they are governed by “some rules” which he stated have worked for them during clandestine operations/surveillance.
“It has always been lawful and acceptable for years despite this particular mistake that happened,” the intelligence official justified adding that their training dictated the operative may be undertaken through drinking and driving. Ndadi asked whether the intelligence division has not become a law unto themselves and trained to violate the law.
The maverick lawyer then put it to Nnandzwa that the constitution as the supreme law provides that no one is above the law even the DIS and it is fair that both of them since they were driving under the influence of alcohol – face the wrath of the law. According to summary of evidence before court, the Police main investigating Officer Seleke stationed at central police under the traffic branch, attended the road accident involving the two motor vehicles being Isuzu KB registered B463ATD driven by Ndwapi and a VW Jetta B760AYK driven by Nnandzwa.
“He drew the sketch plan and also investigated the cause of the accident. During confrontation he detected smell of alcohol from the driver of B463ATD and explained his suspicion to the two drivers and further invited them for an alcohol test,” he observed in the court statements.
Before the test, he narrated to them that they are not obliged to provide breath into the machine but failure to do so without reasonable excuse is an offence. He also explained to them the permissible limit of alcohol which is 0.22mg/l and both drivers blew into the machines and “their results were above the prescribed limit”.
The witness after investigation came to the conclusion that the driver of B463ATD was liable for a charge of driving without due care and attention and for driving a motor vehicle whilst the alcohol content in his breath exceeded the permissible limit. He warned and cautioned the accused for the offences as now charged. However the DIS operative remains not charged in the same accident.
DIS officials above the law? Isaac Kgosi still yet to be charged
The case comes at the backdrop of recent cases by ex DIS Director Isaac Kgosi being omitted from prosecution in the ongoing case of money laundering involving Bakang Seretse and company which opened a can worms.â€¨â€¨It is understood that Seretse has divulged in his affidavit before court that the P250 million transfers to an Israeli company named Dignia Systems’s bank account were at the written instruction of the DIS former chief.
â€¨â€¨High Court Judge Godfrey Radijeng even stated in his judgement in December that “the applicant averred that the P250 million disbursement to a Khulaco (Pty) Ltd account at Capital Bank was not approved by the NPF Management Committee, did not follow established procedure for disbursements, there was no tender for the project, and one Kenneth Kerekang alone purported to approve the request by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) on same date (7th August 2017) the request was made by DIS.”â€¨â€¨Seretse’s lawyer, a Gaborone based brave attorney, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae also has maintained that Kgosi should also be prosecuted in the matter but to no avail.
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.