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Magosi kicks out Kgosi’s right hand man from DIS

The new Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director, Brigadier Peter Magosi this week fired Isaac Kgosi’s right hand man, Brigadier Sentsekae Terry Macheng from the intelligence department. The move, it is said, will be the next in the ‘clean up’ campaign the new boss is launching as he prepares to rid the agency of all internal threats.

Macheng was one of Former President Lt. General Ian Khama’s loyalists. The former president had last year moved him from the position of National Anti-Poaching Coordinator, Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to the Office of the President, as Chief of Staff, DISS. When three DISS officers were caught up in an elephant poaching scandal in Makalamabedi, Boteti Sub District last year, Macheng was at the time heading the Anti-Poaching Unit though he did not take action against the men. This publication can confirm that Magosi was leading the team that nabbed the three men.

WeekendPost is reliably informed that Former President Khama’s plan at the time was to have Macheng replace Kgosi in future as he wanted Kgosi to be sent outside the country as they were in the same group. He had hoped for continuity even after handing the baton to the new President Mokgweetsi Masisi. The plan however, did not materialise as President Masisi is currently expelling a lot of ‘Khama’s men’.

Sources in the intelligence circle have revealed that Brigadier Magosi has set himself a target to clean up three major areas of threats to deal with Kgosi’s parallel system, lest they defeat his efforts. “For now he is concentrating on unaccounted manpower and or ghost personnel, unaccounted equipment and inventory audit. Kgosi had his personal intelligence unit operating under the country’s intelligence unit. He had spread people to all spheres of life including the private sector,” said the source.

This publication is also aware that next to be axed after Macheng is a woman (name known to this publication) who was once regarded as untouchable in the intelligence circle. The woman has since been placed under heavy surveillance. Last Thursday night, this publication has learnt, the woman was tailed by intelligence officers everywhere she went.

The woman owns a house in one of the ‘Blocks’ and it is suspected that the house was being used to stash some security equipment belonging to the DIS. According to sources, the said house in Gaborone is unoccupied, and the woman hardly visits it. The yard is heavily secured, with security cameras all around it.

It has come to the attention of this publication that the house has since been locked for the Magosi led team to inspect the equipment. It is said that Brigadier Magosi’s biggest nightmare is the unaccounted for equipment. Despite the fact that a lot of money was said to have been used to purchase equipment for the intelligence unit, he was perplexed to find none in the office.

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DPP halts JSC, Judge’s back to work plan

25th January 2021
Kebonang

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.

JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.

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BDP rejects Saleshando payment proposal

25th January 2021
MP saleshando

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.

This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.

“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.

This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.

“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.

UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.

In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.

This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.

Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”

Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”

UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.

Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.

“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview
UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.

The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.

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Boko-Khama axis viewed with suspicion

25th January 2021
boko-and-khama

President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.

While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.

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