The Botswana prosecuting authorities are looking for over sixty national and foreign internationals who are running from the law after committing several offences in Botswana, an Interpol wanted list published on the Interpol website has revealed.
Interpol is the International Criminal Police Organisation that facilitates international police cooperation, with global membership of 190 countries, spread across four continents.
According to the information on the Interpol’s website, the country is looking for 66 fugitives who are mostly foreign nationals while around twenty five are Batswana. Others come from Countries such as China, Tanzania, Benin, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among other countries.
A close analysis of the website data suggest that scores of Batswana are also fugitives in other countries having committed horrific acts of crime.
Batswana however rank lower than several countries who have recorded the highest numbers of fugitives. Nigeria is looking for 63 nationals, trailing behind Libya with 90 persons; Egypt, 156; and Rwanda, 160.
Other African countries that rank next to Nigeria are South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sudan, making them fifth, sixth and seventh positions with 41, 38, 25 persons respectively, while countries like Cameroon, Niger and Chad rank at 27th, 28th and 36th, with eight, seven and two persons respectively.
Only 43 of the 54 African countries have their citizens on the wanted list, leaving out 11 countries with no citizen in the document. They are Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Lesotho, among others. Batswana on the list, whose ages range between 25 and 65, are wanted for various offences by the judicial authorities of both Botswana and some foreign countries for prosecution and to serve a sentence.
The offences include fraud, criminal conspiracy, cheating, drug trafficking, theft, customs crimes like smuggling, rape/aggravated sexual assault, stealing and escape from lawful custody.
Interpol had stated on its website that its crime areas include corruption, crimes against children, cybercrime, drugs, environmental crime, financial crime, firearms, fugitive investigations, integrity in sport and maritime piracy.
In an interview with WeekendPost, Botswana Police Service Public Relations Officer, Near Bagali said they continue to see benefits of publicising names of fugitives with Interpol as partners usually engage in different countries usually engage them after such publicity exercises.
“It has worked for us and continues to do so. In most cases many would have skipped the country to seek refuge in their countries in cases of foreigners and as a result we often get correspondence from our partners from several countries that they have made arrests or are making attempts,” he said.
Bagali continued that “following that we then make arrangements for extradition to bring the culprits to book.”
The website revealed among others that the Botswana government is looking for Chinese and Russians who have defiled girls under 16 years while others were charged with stealing by servant and corrupting public officers. Others were South Africans who were accused of stealing by directors among many others.
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.