Kgosi slams officials who claim he is the one denying people permits
The Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Isaac Kgosi, has slammed want away Batswana who flee the country for alleged political reasons. He labeled such Batswana as liars who have a weakness of not telling the truth and knowingly spread malice. Kgosi said he is ready to corroborate his sweeping statement.
The DIS Director General told members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) this week that a lot is happening in Botswana that his much talked about organisation is aware of. Kgosi started off by revealing that; “Of late, Batswana are fleeing the country in large numbers to seek refuge in other countries, citing various reasons for their fleeing.”
The DIS Director General said Batswana are fleeing to countries like Canada and Germany, among others, under the asylum seeker ticket. “When they enter into those countries, they tell all sorts of lies about this country; they say they are running away from political tyranny, corruption, Security agents, murder, mutilation and so forth,” he said. He further added that others say they witnessed people being brutally killed and do not want to be victims in the future.
Kgosi, who expressed shock at these reports, added that “in fact those Batswana are nothing but sex slaves, working in brothels.” He added that Batswana, he has realised, generally have a weakness – and that weakness is not telling the truth. “I have observed that Batswana have this weakness on several occasions,” he remarked to the anger of PAC member, Ndaba Gaolathe, who quickly jumped in to set the record straight and reprimand Kgosi.
Gaolathe warned Kgosi not to make such sweeping statements about Batswana as well as those who flee the country for whatever reasons they cite. “Moreover refrain from making judgements over people’s fears because the DIS doesn’t have the authority to assess or judge the veracity of people’s claims when they flee the country,” he charged. But Kgosi remained unconvinced and defiant, saying his claims are not a figment of his imagination but it is rather based on what he knows.
“I am talking about these things that I know because I have evidence and documentation to support my claims,” he responded. United Nations reported the same thing in 2014/15 in their mid-year trends term review report last year, where the international cooperation organ stated that over 200 Batswana are refugees in Canada, citing repressive homophobic laws as their main reason for fleeing the country.
Kgosi later turned the swords on officials who are in the habit of accusing the DIS of blocking investors to enter the country by denying them work and residence permits or delaying the same. “We don’t sit in such committees which decide to give or deny permits,” said Kgosi. This is contrary to what he previously told the PAC, that his organisation is the one that screens visitors.
The DIS Director General rubbished claims by the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism’s Permanent Secretary, Ellias Magosi who ascribed the delay to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and the DIS. Magosi had said they have, as a result, made a proposal to Cabinet to give their Minister delegated powers on issues of tourists’ permits. He admitted that Botswana spends a lot of money marketing its tourism only for tourists to be blocked when they want entry into the country.
Kgosi also rubbished claims from various quarters that the DIS has adopted the big brother mentality over other crime fighting and prevention agencies. “We are not bullying them and we have a cordial relationship,” he said, further adding that they meet every week to look into issues of national interest and other concerns.
The spy chief further poured cold water on those who say the Parliamentary oversight Committee and the Intelligence Tribunal that oversees him are as good as dead, saying he is actually satisfied with their work. He ascribed all the bad publicity he gets to the media saying they are his worst enemy.
PAC member, Guma Moyo, at this juncture advised him that DIS is a sensitive institution which will obviously attract media attention thus he must have a specific unit to handle the media. “Your job is not to handle the media,” he said. Kgosi however said that he is yet to find the right person for the job. He further expressed certainty that he will be victorious at the end of it all.
The P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) saga that has been before court since 2017 seems to be losing its momentum with a high possibility of it being thrown out as defence lawyers unmask incompetency on the part of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The Gaborone High Court this week ruled that the decision by the State to prosecute Justice Zein Kebonang and his twin brother, Sadique Kebonang has been reviewed and set aside. The two brothers have now been cleared of the charges that where laid against them three years ago.
The United States (US) will on the 3rd of November 2020 chose between incumbent Donald Trump of the Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemics, which has affected how voting is conducted in the world’s biggest economy.
Trump (74) seeks re-election after trouncing Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Biden (77) is going for his first shot as Democratic nominee after previous unsuccessful spells.
US Presidents mostly succeed in their re-election bid, but there have been nine individuals who failed to garner a second term mandate, the latest being George W H. Bush, a Republican who served as the 41st US President between 1989 and 1993.
Dr Mark Rozell, a Dean of the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia describes the complex US electoral system that will deliver the winner at the 3rd November elections.
“The founders of our Republic de-centralised authority significantly in creating our constitutional system, which means that they gave an enormous amount of independent power and authority to State and local governments,” Dr Rozell told international media on Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour.
Unlike parliamentary democracies, like Botswana the United States does not have all of the national government elected in one year. They do not have what is commonly called mandate elections where the entire federal government is elected all in one election cycle giving a “mandate” to a particular political party to lead, and instead US have what are called staggered elections, elections over time.
The two house Congress, members of the House of Representatives have two-year long terms of office. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, but senators serve for six years and one third of the Senate is elected every two years.
For this election cycle, US citizens will be electing the President and Vice
President, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the open or contested seats in the Senate, whereas two thirds are still fulfilling the remainder of their terms beyond this year.
An important facet of US electoral system to understand given the federalism nature of the republic, the US elect presidents State by State, therefore they do not have a national popular vote for the presidency.
“We have a national popular vote total that says that Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump or in Year 2000 that Al Gore got a half million more votes than George W. Bush, but we have what is called a State by State winner takes all system where each State is assigned a number of electors to our Electoral College and the candidate who wins the popular vote within each State takes 100 percent of the electors to the Electoral College,” explained Dr Rozell.
“And that is why mathematically, it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.”
Dr Rozell indicated that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won very large popular majorities in some big population States like California, but the system allows a candidate to only have to win a State by one vote to win a 100 percent of its electors, the margin does not matter.
“Donald Trump won many more States by smaller margins, hence he got an Electoral College majority.”
Another interesting features by the way of US constitutional system, according to Dr Rozell, but extremely rare, is what is called the faithless elector.
“That’s the elector to the Electoral College who says, ‘I’m not going to vote the popular vote in my State, I think my State made a bad decision and I’m going to break with the popular vote,’’ Dr Rozell said.
“That’s constitutionally a very complicated matter in our federalism system because although the federal constitution says electors may exercise discretion, most States have passed State laws making it illegal for any elector to the Electoral College to break faith with the popular vote of that State, it is a criminal act that can be penalized if one is to do that. And we just had an important Supreme Court case that upheld the right of the states to impose and to enforce this restriction”
There are 538 electors at the Electoral College, 270 is the magic number, the candidate who gets 270 or more becomes President of the United States.
If however there are more candidates, and this happens extremely rarely, and a third candidate got some electors to the Electoral College denying the two major party candidates, either one getting a majority, nobody gets 270 or more, then the election goes to the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives votes among the top three vote getters as to who should be the next President.
“You’d have to go back to the early 19th century to have such a scenario, and that’s not going to happen this year unless there is a statistical oddity, which would be a perfect statistical tie of 269 to 269 which could happen but you can just imagine how incredibly unlikely that is,” stated Dr Rozell.
BLUE STATES vs RED STATES
Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.
Many states have populations that are so heavily concentrated in the Democratic party or the Republican party that there is really no competition in those states.
California is a heavily Democratic State, so is New York and Maryland. It is given that Joe Biden will win those states. Meanwhile Texas, Florida and Alabama are republicans. So, the candidates will spent no time campaigning in those states because it is already a given.
However there are swing states, where there is a competition between about five and 10 states total in each election cycle that make a difference, and that is where the candidates end up spending almost all of their time.
“So it ends up making a national contest for the presidency actually look like several state-wide contests with candidates spending a lot of time talking about State and local issues in those parts of the country,” said Dr Rozell.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.