Tsogwane denies Boteti Chief new contract
Minister Slumber Tsogwane
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Slumber Tsogwane has declined to extend the contract of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi representative for Boteti Region, Oreagetse Machildza.
Sources close to the developments indicate that Tsogwane has decided not to renew the contract of Machilidza because he has reached the compulsory retirement age of 60 years.
According to Bogosi Act, it is at the discretion of Minister of Local Government to approve the extension of a chief’s stay in office by a contract after he has reached a compulsory retirement age.
The Bogosi Act states that a Kgosi may, after consultation with the people of the area at a kgotla in the customary manner and with the approval of the Minister, recognise any person designated by his or her tribe as Kgosana in respect of the area of his or her tribal territory or tribal area and may in like manner withdraw the recognition.
Machilidza, who falls under the category of Kgosana under Bogosi Act is under the authority of Bangwato chief, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane.
Weekend Post has gathered that, Machilidza one of the outspoken members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi has clashed with government on number of occasions over recognition matters of tribal authority.
It is revealed that at one point, Machilidza had a stand-off with Minister of Mineral, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila at Mopipi after advising members of the community not to attend a Kgotla meeting scheduled to be addressed by the minister because he was not informed about the meeting.
Machilidza is also associated with opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) and suspicions are that his contract was not extended because of his political inclination with the opposition.
Mopipi Ward, part of Tsogwane’s Boteti West constituency has been in the hands of opposition BNF (and later Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)) since 2009 and it is believed that Machilidza has been influential in the political development in the area.
Tsogwane is also accused of being conflicted. According to villagers who spoke to this publication, the decision to strip Machilidza chieftainship was motivated by Tsogwane’s political interest.
Contacted for comment, Tsogwane has expressed that the decision not to extend Machilidza’s contract was not influenced by allegations of his political affiliation with the opposition parties.
“His contract came to an end, he was not fired. The Bogosi Act gives his [Machilidza] supervisors the power to extend or not to extend his contract based on the circumstances prevailing,” he said.
“Machilidza falls under the supervision of Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, and he is the one who make recommendations whether with regard to extending his contract or to appoint his replacement,” Tsogwane further stated.
He added that it is common knowledge that Bogosi Act prohibits Dikgosi from actively participating in politics, something which he said, if Machilidza was guilty of, he would have long lawfully removed him.
The Minister of Local Government further reiterated that Machilidza’s removal was not political motivated but refused to disclose reasons for government refusal to extend his contract.
This publication has further established that Machilidza will be replaced by a pro-BDP chief, but stiff resistance is expected from the community of Boteti. However the buck stays with Tsogwane on who is finally appointed into the position of chieftainship since the Bogosi Act state that “the Minister may, if he or she is satisfied that- the recognition of a Kgosana has been made without due consideration of the wishes and interests of the people of the tribal territory or tribal area, cancel the recognition of such Kgosana, and may recognise as Kgosana such person as he or she considers appropriate after consultation with the people of the tribal territory or tribal area.
Earlier this year, Machilidza had a motion rejected in which he called for abolishment of the “Paramount Chief” status in order to treat all chiefs equally. Machilidza was of the view that government has not implemented the recommendation of Balopi Commission on Bogosi.
Machilidza has also on several occasions challenged for the position of Deputy Chairperson of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi albeit without success. His last attempt was in October 2015 when elections were called to replace Kgosi Lotlaamoreng who left the house to become Member of Parliament for GoodHope-Mabule.
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DCEC granted warrant to arrest Khama twins
The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has been granted permission to apprehend the former Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, and his twin brother Anthony Khama.
Information gathered by this publication suggests that the DCEC is actively searching for the Khama brothers, this is in connection with events that transpired whilst Tshekedi was Minister of Environment. The duo is currently in exile in South Africa together with their elder brother, and former President Lt Gen Ian Khama.
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According to unconfirmed reports, DCEC met with attorney Victor Ramalepa, who refused to accept the summons, saying that he is not their attorney. Furthermore, it is believed that DCEC has enlisted the assistance of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) in flagging the suspects’ names in the International Criminal Police Organisation INTERPOL.
Responding to WeekendPost enquiries, DCEC spokesperson Lentswe Motshoganetsi said, “I am not in good position to confirm or deny the allegation,” adding that such allegations may fall within the operational purview of the DCEC.
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DCEC’s Tshepo Pilane still has his mojo
Tshepo Pilane silenced his critics after being named the head of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) in May of last year and served his opponents humble pie. Many believed he would only last for a month, but almost a year later, he is still standing.
Pilane, a trained soldier whose appointment surprised both the general public and some officers within the DCEC walls, has never glanced back in his duty to steer the DCEC ship forward.
It is alleged that immediately after his appointment the man embarked on a nation-wide trip touring the DCEC offices across the country in order to confirm and reaffirm the DCEC’s mandate. Sources from inside the DCEC claim that Pilane won the hearts of many DCEC employees due to his humility and plain message; “people at the top of the DCEC will come and go but the mandate of the DCEC remains relevant and unchanged.”
Pilane was appointed the Acting DCEC Director General at a time when the organisation was undergoing turbulence through court proceedings in which the suspended Director General Tymon Katlholo had interdicted the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing the DCEC premises. At the time, the DIS had raided the DCEC offices in the absence of Katlholo claiming to be looking for high profile corruption cases allegedly held by Katlholo.
At the time Pilane was Head of the DCEC Intelligence Division holding the position of Senior Assistant Director General reporting directly to the Deputy Director General Operations Ms Priscilla Israel. Contrary to his detractors, Pilane who is a reserved and humble person by nature won the support and backing of many DCEC officers due to his unassuming nature.
In a recent questionnaire sent to the DCEC regarding Pilane’s term in office, the DCEC was resolute on its commitment towards the fight against corruption. When quizzed on allegations of rife corruption since he took over, Pilane through his Public Relations (PR) office stated that the corruption landscape in Botswana remains unchanged as the DCEC continues to receive reports on allegations of corruption with sectors such as procurement (tenders and supplies), Transport (licensing and certificates), and land (dubious allocation and collusion) still leading issues reported. This trend has been consistence in the DCEC database for more than 10 years.
When further quizzed on accusations that suggest that due to the infighting at the agency, particularly at the top management, Investigations of cases has dropped significantly the DCEC claimed ignorance to the matter, stating that they are not aware of any “infights” at the DCEC “at the top management”, further stating that, investigations of cases has increased significantly, contrary to the allegations raised. “The DCEC is currently seeking new ways of expediting the investigations in order to fast track its enforcement role,” said the DCEC Head of Public Relations Lentswe Motshoganetsi. He further stated that the DCEC is in pursuit of high profile cases involving money and assets valued over P900 million. Three companies are involved in the scandal and two cases have already been committed to court while on one, investigations are about to be completed.
When WeekendPost inquired about Pilane’s roadmap, the DCEC stated that in the past, anti-corruption interventions were reactive, particularly in dealing with national projects that involve large sums of money. It was further started that in most instances investigating such matters takes a long time and in most instances, the money looted form Government in never recovered. As a result, the DCEC has taken a deliberate stance to attach its officers from the Corruption Prevention Division to be part of the implementation of these projects before, during, and after implementation.
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Although the infighting was denied by Pilane’s Office, he acknowledged that leakage of information is a problem across Government and stated that it is a pain at the DCEC. He however stated that Staff has been cautioned against leakage of investigation information and that they have roped in the Botswana Police to assist in investigating incidents of leakage. He further stated that they have increased continuous vetting and lifestyle audits for DCEC employees in order to enforce discipline.
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