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Boko rails against ‘phoney’ DIS

The President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko has dismissed the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) describing it as a phoney institution only worthwhile for siphoning public funds.

Boko stated this week that the public has been programmed to think that the country would collapse in the absence of DISS, describing it as a “DIS misconception.”  “There is this misconception that occurs around the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services. You have been taught or programmed to think that, if there is no DISS Botswana will collapse, that there will be bloodshed, but I don’t know why that will be because this country has always been there before the birth of DISS.”

Boko further noted that the country does not need DIS as the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Military Intelligence (MI) were doing a good job in the absence of the Isaac Kgosi led organization. “There was always crime but it was not as widespread because we had CID and Military Intelligence. They did all the crime intelligence, crime detection and investigations in conjunction with the police. Those who had been taught to deal with security situations have always been there.”

He further continued to state: “You are being told about imaginary threats. You are even safer without DISS because you can talk freely with your friends and do what you want to do safely. There is nothing that can happen to you. The right to privacy must be upheld and your communication with whomever must remain private. Section 9 of the constitution of Botswana that guarantees you privacy doesn’t only deal with being harassed in your own space. Your communication between you and whomever is privileged; it is part of your right to privacy,” Boko told journalists.

He further said that the snooping by DISS into the private lives of citizens can only breed instability and insecurity. “So, when we say DISS has nothing to do when it comes to crime detection, what they normally do when they hear something is that they can take you and beat you. When they see you near Mosu they threaten you at gunpoint even though there is no law that bars you from the vicinity of Mosu.” He further stated that agents of the organization do not know the mandate of their organisation as well as the Criminal and Investigations Act.

“They never even come to court and they don’t know the law and procedures. They can take someone who might be a suspect to the police. They then extricate themselves from the cases leaving them to the police who will then lose them at courts” he continued to state that, “they do not know how to investigate and they were not taught to do that function and legal techniques.” He further stated that in fact DISS is the number one threat to the country as it siphons public funds behind the cover of security paranoia.

“What they can only do is to lie to you about nonexistent Al Qaeda cells. They lie because they can’t even give you the evidence and they lie in order to further this security neurosis. In fact they pose the biggest threat to your security. When you expend large amounts of money to fund this black hole… it serves only to siphon funds.” “We need to disabuse people from this notion. They should know that DISS serves no function except to siphon out funds.”

He also continued to state: “Right now they came to parliament asking for P15.5 million that was used during the BOT50 celebrations because they say security platforms were high. How could they have not anticipated what they were going to do during BOT50? It’s a train smash, its thievery done in broad daylight, Boko said.

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DPP halts JSC, Judge’s back to work plan

25th January 2021

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

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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