Information gathered by WeekendPost this week reveals that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) was swindled out of undisclosed millions of Pulas by two unknown South African men who claimed to be private investigators.
It is alleged that the two men contacted the spy agency sometime last year with information that they have evidence linking former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama, former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi, controversial South African businesspersons Bridgette Motsepe- Radebe and Malcom X, of corruption allegations, accusing them of embezzling 100 billion Pula (8 billion euros).
Sources within the susceptible spy agency told this publication that a deal was sealed with the two men where they were paid monies amounting to millions of Pulas for the information. Upon receiving the fabricated information, it is alleged that the directorate did not take time to investigate the contents before handing the information to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
DPP Investigator Jako Hubona accused Khama, former Intelligence Chief, Isaac Kgosi and another senior intelligence officer, Wilhelminah Maswabi, of transferring some of the funds to HSBC Bank in Hong Kong and leading South African banks. “They were so excited that they did not do further investigations to cross check before going ahead with the affidavits”, said the source.
All these are contained in a bail- opposing affidavit by investigating officer, Jako Hubona. He told the court how billions were stolen from the diamond- rich country’s government from 2008 and stashed in offshore accounts by former President Khama and his associates. Hubona also alleged Maswabi and Motsepe-Radebe were co- signatories on South African bank accounts owned by two companies, Blue Flies and Fire Flies. Between them, the companies hold 17 bank accounts outside Botswana.
When realizing that they have made a blunder, the spy agency then turned their investigations onto one of their own; DIS agent Wilhelminah Maswabi, who they found to be vulnerable and working close with former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi and demanded that she confirm the said allegations.
At the time, Hubona’s affidavit stated that the investigation was triggered by a report that Khama and Kgosi instructed Bank of Botswana to create three “special unit accounts” to which Maswabi had access. He alleged that on August 14th last year Maswabi transferred $2. 9 million to Isaac Kgosi, this information was believed to have been relayed by the fabricated evidence from unknown South African fraudsters.
An attorney from Botswana, Uyapo Ndadi, travelled to South Africa to investigate and authenticate the documents submitted to the court as exhibits to support claims that his client, Motsepe- Radebe and others, were signatories on some bank accounts. A copy of a stamped Nedbank agreement with Fire Flies as well as a business client agreement between Blue Flies and Absa, in which Motsepe-Radebe is at the top of a list of five signatories was presented. Ndadi at the time said he was, however, not convinced that the documents were authentic, saying they had not been signed.
Motsepe- Radebe, who strongly denied any links with the accounts in question, said she had not been contacted by any authorities and that she is willing for allow her bank account to be scrutinized. Till to date no charges against former President Ian Khama have been filed in the court.
It is alleged that at the moment the DIS do not know where to turn their heads since the two fraudsters have vanished into thin air leaving them with no contacts or whatsoever. “I can guarantee you these guys were sold the dummy, they were too quick with the affidavits”, said the source. Former President Khama also called a press conference in December last year where he said the allegations made were false and "deliberately and maliciously fabricated" to tarnish his name. "There is no doubt that the serious allegations by Hubona and his co- conspirators amount to criminal conduct and are extremely defamatory," Khama said.
Contacted for comment this week, former President Khama also told WeekendPost that he is aware of the incident because someone briefed him about it. “I can confirm that I am aware of it, I heard the story as well but investigations into the matter are continuing”.
Khama, who also engaged Omnia Strategy LLP, established by Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said so far they have met twice, and have also included South African lawyers representing Motsepe- Radebe in the meeting and everything was going well. “I am hoping they will be finished with investigations at the end of February and we would finalize”. Attempts to get a comment from the DIS were not successful.
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.