Gaolathe lashes at Mangole, Modubule
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Ndaba Gaolathe says Mangole, Modubule violated and denigrated party constitution
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Ndaba Gaolathe has in a written letter to the party National Executive Committee (NEC) told members that Advocate Sidney Pilane’s re-admission will only be decided by the party at its next congress.
The two letters dated 21 October 2015, seen by this publication- were addressed to the party Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole and the other to members of the NEC in essence, de-recognising the decision to re-admit Pilane back into the party. In the letter addressed to the NEC members, Gaolathe explains that if indeed such a decision was taken, members of the NEC will have presided over and participated in a denigration of the constitution of the party.
“The unconstitutionality, violation of procedure and the array of circumstances around this matter would leave the NEC or the party with no choice, but to place such a decision, if indeed it was taken, in abeyance and then be referred to the Movement’s highest organ, the National Congress for proper and fair resolution,” the letter to the NEC reads in part.
“There is no urgency in the matter and it would be addressed by the National Congress at it next regular meeting.”
Gaolathe further explains that membership application in terms of Article 5 of the constitution should be submitted to and considered by a Brand Committee, which may accept or refuse it. He further states that any such acceptance or refusal is subject to review by the next higher organ of the party, which in this case is the Regional Committee.
“The Constitution does not countenance a situation where an applicant for membership “shops” around, going from Branch Committee to Branch Committee receiving rejections until he or she arrives at one that would grant an acceptance,” said Gaolathe who was outside the country in Switzerland when the decision was reportedly taken.
Gaolathe who is also the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Secretary General explained that any attempt to “shop” around in the manner Pilane has done offends against the Constitution and is improper as it amounts to violation of the Constitution.
“The proper process should have involved a request by Pilane to have the refusal of his membership application by the Gaborone North Branch Committee reviewed by the next higher organ of the party, and this is the Regional Committee,” he said.
The Gaborone Bonnington South legislator further remarks in the letter that the NEC remains vested with powers to overturn the acceptance of any membership application.
“…Even acceptance of a membership application that is proper and regular, does not immediately confer full membership on the applicant. It confers only provisional membership which may only become full at the expiration of 8 weeks from date of notification of the granting provisional membership,” he stated.
“In the ultimate instance, any decision of any organ of the party is subject to review, ratification, alteration or rescission by the highest organ, the National Congress. This is in terms of Clause 14.3 of the constitution.”
On the other letter addressed to Mangole, Gaolathe is calling on the party Secretary General to explain why the NEC presided over and participated in such a denigrating act to the party’s constitution.
“I am keen to learn from you and the Chairman, Nehemiah Modubule why this decision, if indeed it was taken, was reached in these divisive circumstances including in the absence of the Vice President Wynter Mmolotsi, who is acting on my behalf, along with other reputable members of the NEC, and who clearly expressed and demonstrated refusal to participate in the flagrant denigration of the constitution of our Movement,” reads the letter in part.
The party president is also unimpressed by the fact that Mangole communicated directly to the media before he informed or notified Mmolotsi or even himself as party president. “In my view, you as the Secretary General along with the Chairman, knowingly or unknowingly have acted in ways that are divisive to our party, and have gone against the spirit of unity in our large Movement, the Umbrella for Democratic Change,” he stated.
The former party National Policy Director further remarked that Mangole and Modubule’s conduct has been both inappropriate and unfair to the party and the masses that have lent the party their goodwill. “I expect that you will revise your conduct, or the people, when the right time comes, will revise it for you,” he said.
Gaolathe told Mangole that in previous NEC meetings, he has been reluctant to involve himself in the Pilane matter, to preclude the idea that he may be conflicted about considering the application of a member with previous presidential ambitions.
“I did so inspired by my faith in yourselves, as fair and responsible leaders on whom the future of our collective vision could be entrusted,” he said. “Your actions and sense of judgement have discredited my faith in you.”
The letter further states that Mangole is expected to respond in writing providing explanation to Gaolathe and also do so verbally at the next NEC meeting. According to the letter, the Pilane matter will be referred to party congress in 2017.
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Letshego’s head of transformation, Molebogeng Malomo highlighted that working through agile methodologies, the partnership was able to develop and be released as what they call a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or solution. “In keeping up with the spirit of design thinking and agile methodologies, the experiences and viewpoints of both Letshego Botswana and Mascom’s customers will be valuable to inform further enhancements to the Mascom MyZaka solution,” he said.
He further noted that the partnership and the development of the MyZaka instant loan will provide both the organizations to diversify their offering and customer base, while also offering the customer more choices and flexibility to initiate and be in control of their loan requests through the self-service mobile based application.
Mascom’s Chief Executive Officer, Dzene Makhwade-Seboni also alluded that their origins, priorities and initiatives are firmly rooted in Botswana and in the success of all Batswana, and that their strategy and intent is supported by embracing innovative problem-solving.
“The speed with which Letshego has grown over the years gives us confidence that we have partnered with the right service provider. Their expertise and most of all, innovation, a value we both share, will be beneficial to MyZaka Mobile Money for growth and for the convenience of our subscribers,” she concluded.
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.
Approximately two weeks ago, the corruption-busting agency discreetly filed for an arrest warrant that was approved by the Broadhurst Magistrate Court for the two to be taken into custody, according to a highly placed source within the government enclave.
DCEC is also said to have filed an affidavit signed by a high-ranking officer known to this publication. Reports indicate that after being presented with details of the case, the Broadhurst magistrate issued the agency an arrest warrant.
It is also believed that the agency has been conducting extensive investigations into the supposed suspects for quite some time. Furthermore, Weekend Post has it on good word that the DCEC has been looking for methods to summon the two for questioning but has been unsuccessful.
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.
When contacted for comment, Ramalepa briefly stated that he is unaware of the purported arrest warrant. “I know nothing about the warrant and I haven’t been served with anything,” he said.
Meanwhile, former president Lt Gen Ian Khama recently issued a statement stating that DIS is intensifying the harassment and intimidation of him, family, friends and office employees.
“It is reprehensible for state officials and agencies to abuse government resources to terrorise their own citizens for personal gain,” said the former president in a statement.
He also stated that his brother TK’s staff and security were ordered to falsely implicate him. “Their desperate tactics will never work, it only serves to motivate me more to pursue regime change and free Botswana from tyranny,” he said
This comes after the corruption busting agency wants to interview the alleged suspects as they are still hiding in South Africa since last year.
Despite the hostility between government and Khama family going unabated, last month, Masisi extended an olive branch to Khama in political rally, indicating that he hopes the two of them settle their differences, of which the former responded by welcoming the gesture.
Khama further said his brother, Tshekedi, will facilitate the reconciliation of his behalf. Many have indicated that Masisi did not say what he said in good faith, and was only scoring political brownies since he was in Khama’s territory in Shoshong.
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.
The DCEC cited the Economic Stimulus Programme which, although meant to grow the economy and uplift Batswana from poverty, yielded incidents of corruption and poor workmanship. To date, the DCEC is still grappling with cases as some projects were not done, or were completed with defects beyond repair. Currently the DCEC is involved at the Ministry of Education conducting project risk management in the Multiple Path Ways Program at Moeng College and Maun Senior School. This intervention will spread to other sectors of the economy as part of the DCEC’s corruption prevention strategy.
Of recent, the DCEC has been in the media for all the wrong reasons following leakage of high profile cases and allegations claiming that the executive management is at war with each other more particularly with some within the agency harbouring ambitions to dethrone Pilane from the Directorship.
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.
Pilane’s term comes to an end in May 2023 after serving the DCEC for a year on acting basis. It will be in the public interest to see who will be given the baton to continue the anti-corruption journey if Pilane’s contract is not renewed. The DCEC has seen arrival and departure of Director Generals having alternated the top seat five times in less than seven years.