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All oversight bodies on DIS rendered ‘dead’

Investigations carried by this publication on the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service have unearthed the controversial dealings within the DIS and it’s Director General Peter Fana Magosi.

Reliable information reaching Weekend post indicates that prior to Magosi retaining his seat in Magosi has disabled the intelligence oversight structures that are provide by the Intelligence and Security Security Act.  The Intelligence Act in its nature provides for the establishment of the Central Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Community, Intelligence and Security Council, the Tribunal and the Parliamentary committee on Intelligence and Security.  

Right-hand sources with the intelligence have made this publication aware that ever since taking over by Magosi, the above mentioned committees have never been in operation without any reasonable explanation as to why. “If these committees existed and effective the DIS would not be characterized by so many complaints and litigations because there would be guidance on the proper way of doing things.”

By virtue, the Act provides for the establishment of the Central Intelligence Committee which is chaired by the President. The functions of these committee, are amongst others, to guide the DIS on all matters relating to national security and intelligence matters as well as to approve intelligence and security assessments. According to information gathered by this publication, the last meeting of this Committee was in 2018. President Mokgweetsi Masisi was part of the committee during Former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama tenure.

 Sources within the DIS elucidated that the Committee ought to have been guided by the DIS on the alleged threat assessment that resulted in the deployment of the resources of Former President Khama. On the 11th February 2020, the DIS released a press statement that they have conducted a security threat assessment of all VIPs and this assessment resulted in the deployment of resources from President Khama’s office.

Allegedly the threat assessment of all VIPs including the former Presidents ought to have been deliberated in this Committee because some members of the Committee, the Commissioner of Police and Commander of the Botswana Defense Force are important stakeholders on this issue. “Magosi made some very crucial decisions without consulting anyone within the committee. He only shared information to the President.” Further revelations point out that the threat assessment never existed as it had been claimed. “The Committee has never convened and deliberated on the reported threat assessment that is claimed to have resulted in the protection of some government officials by the DIS.

BEHIND ELECTION MACHINE PURCHASED BY DIS

Investigations carried by this publication indicate that the decision by Magosi to purchase some equipment, a machine that was to be procured from a Switzerland based company was solely the DG’s decision. The Committee was not aware of the alleged threat assessment that informed by the DG that the IEC data base for the 2019 general election was being manipulated.

 Last year the DG was quoted as having said that the IEC data base was being targeted hence the need to procure some equipment from Switzerland. Although the Act provides that this Committee must guide the DIS on all matter relating to security and intelligence interests as well as approving intelligence and security assessments, Magosi decided to make a public statement on the IEC database without including the Committee on the alleged threat assessments.

“There was never any threat assessment conducted that informed the DIS that the IEC data was being targeted. The committee was never briefed about the gathered intelligence that there were plans to manipulate the IEC data for the 2019 general election,” revealed the source. The DIS Act provides for the National Intelligence Community and the functions of this Community are to, amongst others, review and coordinate intelligence. In terms of the Act, this Committee is chaired by the DG of the DIS and it consist of heads of law enforcement agencies that deal with intelligence.

THE MULTIPLE RAIDS IN 2019

Conferring to sources close to this Committee, although the Committee’s responsibility is to review and coordinate intelligence, the Committee was never involved in the decision that resulted in the raids of some companies early 2019. Last year was welcomed with simultaneous raids conducted by the DIS and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes invade high profiled persons and companies, in an initiative by the President to clean up and help promote a zero corrupt nation.

Former Spy Chief Isaac Kgosi was amongst those who were raided together with other allies who were alleged to have been involved in corruption dealings. Other associates linked to the Former President Khama were also raided. Information reaching this publication further claims that the Committee is not aware of the plot to assassinate the President. Since his arrival at the DIS, Magosi has been making prerogatives that there are plots to assassinate the President but, “this was never shared with the Committee nor the Commissioner of Police and the Commander of the BDF who are important stakeholders in the protection of the President” revealed the source.

The Intelligence Act further inaugurates the Intelligence and Security Council that should consist of the PSP, Attorney General, DG and Deputy DG. The functions of this Council are to, amongst others, review intelligence policies and activities and examine the expenditure and administration of the DIS. Just like the other committees above sources within the intelligence have revealed that this Council has never met since the arrival of Magosi.

“Even though the Council is responsible to examine expenditure of the DIS, the Council is not aware of any major DIS operations that could have contributed to the depletion of the operational funds since November 2019. The Council is not aware of any approval for the use of the operational funds to buy cattle feeds, farms, and suits in Angola and other clothing in Molepolole,” revealed the source.

The Council is also responsible for the administration of the DIS but it is purportedly not aware that a decision was taken to transfer every officer who worked for the DIS during the tenure of Kgosi. Magosi is assumed to have transferred some senior officials within the DIS such as the Director of Finance, the Director Legal and the HR Director because they worked under Kgosi’s occupancy.  According to our sources, these directors were transferred because they were against the misappropriation of operational funds and the employment of friends and relatives.

The DIS Act auxiliary provides for the establishment of a Tribunal to be appointed by the President. According to sources, the last Tribunal was appointed by the former President Khama and almost all the members of this Tribunal have resigned. This is supposedly despite the fact that the legislature in their wisdom established the Tribunal to assist members of the public who may have been aggrieved by the DIS operatives. It is held that there are so many complaints against the DIS from the public as well as members of the DIS but these complaints cannot be attended to because there is no Tribunal.

Just like the other oversite structures within the DIS, the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security that is provided by the Act is none existent since 2018.   The functions of this Committee are to, amongst others, examine the expenditure and administration of the DIS. According to a source in the intelligence community as well as some lawyers who are familiar with the Intelligence and Security Service Act, it is a statutory requirement that these committees are established and that they are functional. It is not optional that these committee must be established.

There are reports on allegations that Magosi is deliberately disregarding the establishment of these committees because he does not want to account to anyone.  In terms of the Act, some members of these committees such as the Parliamentary Committee and the Tribunal are appointed by the President and, it is not clear on why the President has not yet appointed anyone within these committees.

It is also sketchy on why the Central Intelligence Committee is dysfunctional. The lack of any functional committee within the DIS raises an eyebrow on how decisions and daily operations of the intelligence unit are conducted. Intelligence experts have deduced that these committees are important so that decisions made on national security are not central to one person of body.

There are reports that because of his inclination to misappropriate operational funds, employment of his friends and relatives as well as abuse of office, Magosi prefers to be the one deciding who to employ and who to promote. According to sources close to the DIS, he always justifies the absence of the committees by saying that His Excellency the President does not trust people from the previous administration who, by virtue of their positions are members of some of these committees.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021
Botswana-economic-recovery-depends-on-successful-vaccine-rollout---BoB-

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021
Inside-the-UB-BDF-fighter-Jet-tragedy-report

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021
JAKO HUBONA

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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