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Magosi ‘technically’ on suspension…

In 2019, the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Brigadier Peter Magosi’s job was reported to be on shaky grounds after speculation that President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has slapped him with a suspension letter.

Magosi was accused of presenting before courts several flawed high profile corruption, terrorism and money laundering cases that have immensely bruised the government’s image. When this publication inquired then, Magosi denied and rubbished the allegations, claiming that he and Masisi have a very tight professional relationship. However, reliable sources within the intelligence community revealed to this publication this week that speculation that Magosi was placed on suspension is indeed true.

After numerous reports indicating that Magosi was on suspension, he toned down, and was no longer seen actively being involved in guarding the President. But he has re-emerged of late. Magosi is record stating that the President’s life is under threat. It is however alleged that Magosi’s suspension has been kept as top secret by the intelligence unit and Office of the President (OP). Sources further revealed that this decision came long and hard.

Allegedly, Magosi currently does not have direct contact with the President. He however camouflages this by attending some of the events Masisi is seen at, the latest being at the Budget Speech on Monday. Despite this damning allegations, information received is that Magosi will not entertain any suspension and has been seen at the State house on his duties from time to time. WeekendPost has gathered that Masisi and Magosi in their routine meetings, discussed the matter relating to preserving DIS credibility.

Masisi is said to be very concerned by the manner in which Magosi does his business, as it has the potential to further tarnish the image of the institution.  “Not like he was hard on him, but it was just an advise for Magosi to tone down and not be trigger happy as it could put the institution in a bad light,” revealed a source.
 The meeting is said to have been staged prior to elections where Masisi expressed his concerns.  UDC has also reported Magosi to the Ombudsman for acts of mal-administration and abuse of office.

“It is our greatest concern that the Director General has overstepped his security functions and crossed into political landscape. His overzealous body guard behaviour, seemingly to impress his political appointor, has left many Batswana puzzled by the state of affairs. The important question is; can an unethical and unprofessional public servant be expected to deliver on his mandate? In the case of Mr Magosi, we say he can’t,” wrote the UDC President Duma Boko in a complaint letter to the Ombudsman.


MAGOSI TROUBLES OUTLINED 


The Sebina brothers, Tshepo and Kegone Sebina have swiftly moved an application to counter sue the State, over an ex parte search warrant that was issued against them earlier this year, after being sought by Magosi. Earlier this year, Magosi successfully applied for ex parte search warrant on the brothers before the Village Magistrate Court.

The two brothers were accused of being involved in corrupt dealings with former DIS spy Chief, Colonel Isaac Kgosi.

It was alleged that the brothers had been corruptly awarded tenders from about 52 companies in which 48 of these pointed to have the three brothers as Directors/shareholders. Whilst the properties of Kegone and Tshepo were raided and the properties were also allegedly linked to Kgosi.  The investigators allegedly made way with documents. Former President Khama and his brother Tshekedi Khama, along with Ms. Tahlia Naledi Khama (Tshekedi’s daughter) are also suing the Director General, for defamation of character.

This came after Magosi revealed that an amount of P5.6 billion was stolen from the Bank of Botswana when Dr. Khama was President; and the monies were maintained in a certain ‘‘offshore’’ bank account in Ms. Tahlia Naledi Khama’s names.

High profile investigative officers at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have also written a letter in which they complained about the interference of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) in the operations of the DCEC.

The letter, which has been seen by this publication, details the frustrations of investigating officers and make allegations against the Director Generals.

The officers complain that they have lost their independence to the DIS Director General and in some instances the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Director General. They complain that their Director General, Brigadier Joseph Mathambo, gets operational direction, especially regarding high profile investigations from the two DGs at FIA and DIS. In the letter, they complain that in terms of the DCEC Act and international best practices, investigations must remain confidential and not communicated to any unauthorized persons.



They allege that in their case, the DIS Chief, Magosi dictates to their DG Mathambo, on who to investigate and who not to investigate. Because of this, some reports are not authorized for investigations and if authorized, the investigations are being frustrated and investigating officers victimised. They state in the letter that when he first addressed them after his appointment, Mathambo told them that he was appointed by DIS DG Peter Magosi and President Mokgweetsi Masisi and he has to serve their interests.  â€¨â€¨â€¨

The officers say that they are inundated with reports against the DIS DG but because of his close relationship with their DG, they are scared of forwarding the reports for classification to investigate. The officers complain that they were investigating their DG and his wife, who was working at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), on accounts of corruption and also for insurance fraud, but they don't know what happened to his files after the departure of Bruno Paledi.




They also complain that they have been investigating the DIS DG Magosi but they don't know what happened to his files after the appointment of Joseph Mathambo. Magosi’s investigations involved his time at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). At the time when the DCEC was investigating this case, the DCEC DG was an Inspector General at the BDF doing audits, it is alleged that he was already close to the DIS DG at the time. Attempts to reach Magosi for comment were unfruitful as he declined this publication’s calls.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

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.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

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.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

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.

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