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Dow blasts “lawless” DIS 

Magosi

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, a Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Dr Unity Dow, has warned that the country will go down if responsible individuals do not rein in on the wayward intelligence unit, the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS).

In a passionate and perhaps most critical response ever by a ruling party member to the State of Nation Address (SONA) in recent years, Dow challenged her colleagues to rise to the occasion to stop what would condemn the country to darkness and have the next generation cursing their predecessors.

Dow put to the spotlight President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Attorney General, Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), among others in her uncharacteristic response on Wednesday. Dow said that the most fundamental promise that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) made to the public in the last elections was to restore good governance and the rule of law.

“We won the elections on the promise of righting things,” she said when responding to Masisi’s speech. Dow revealed that the government has failed to deliver good governance regarding the DIS. The DIS, currently headed by Brigadier Peter Magosi, was established through the Intelligence and Security Service Act of 2008. The DIS primary mandate is to oversee matters of the counterintelligence and internal security of Botswana.

However, Dow, who resigned from cabinet last year, has indicated that they have allowed the DIS to be a rogue institution that operates outside the law parameters. She said the government has failed to influence the public perception of the DIS from the get-go and that the public has viewed the DIS as a monster. “We feared it, and that became a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she said.

Dow said that as the BDP, they promised the nation that they would run the country not through fear or force, intimidation and threats and that no one would be above the law.

“Yet with the DIS being allowed to operate outside the law, it has amongst other things been allowed to listen to private conversations outside legally laid out procedures, arrest and detain, search and generally interfere with personal liabilities outside legally laid down procedures, direct the hiring and firing of anyone outside legally laid down procedures,” she said.

The former High Court judge revealed that some consequences of allowing the DIS to demean the law are that the country will suffer reputational harm; the State would have to pay for legal fees, individuals will suffer a loss of freedom, individuals who have been suspended or fired unfairly will suffer a loss of income, and that phone surveillance is costing phone companies hence loss of revenues.

She indicated that some solution to this issue is that the DIS must be subjected to a Commission of Inquiry that looks into its policies, regulations, and activities. She said that the Attorney General must do his job and advised that the members of the public with complaints against the DIS must lodge them with the tribunal. Furthermore, she called upon all lawyers to offer free legal advice to complainants against DIS.

She cautioned the DCEC to stop allowing itself to be undermined and bullied by the DIS. She further indicated that the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP must re-analyze its relations with the DIS with a view of ensuring that it can trust the evidence brought to it. Dow advised the Leader of the Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando, to review his position on the opposition’s membership of the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security.

Meanwhile, Saleshando, in his response to SONA, condemned the DIS and accused the President of using the DIS and DCEC to fight his battles. He called for the DIS to re-shift its focus and deal with serious criminals instead of following one man around who is harmless. In the conclusion of his speech, he indicated that they, as the opposition, will table a motion calling for the re-configuration of the DIS.

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Why Katholo engaged private lawyers against State

16th May 2022
Katlholo

The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.

In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.

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Dada to break Kwelagobe’s BDP long standing record

16th May 2022
Dada

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.

While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.

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The Gulaam Husain Abdoola – Dubai sting detailed

16th May 2022
Gulaam Husain Abdoola

Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.

Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.

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