The Botswana Democratic Party leadership, led by party treasurer and business mogul Satar Dada and the Secretary General, Mpho Balopi met with Chairman of Khato Civils, Simbi Phiri in South Africa on the eve of the 2019 general elections to discuss funding issues, party treasurer Dada has confirmed to this publication.
When this publication put it to him that he and Balopi met Phiri at his residence in South Africa on the eve of the 2019 general elections, Dada said: “yes we did, as we always do with other people.” When it was put to him that the meeting was about funding the BDP, Dada said: “the BDP like all other likeminded organisations is always looking for potential funders and is free to interact with anybody who may be a potential funder”.
However the conversation broke down when Dada was asked to confirm or deny that they left the meeting successful after their bid was accepted by Phiri. “Those are confidential details. Are you seriously expecting me to share those details with you; you must have your head checked by a psychiatrist. What kind of a question is that,” fumed Dada who then took control of the interview before collapsing it.
Dada’s secretary general, Balopi’s phone ran unanswered for the most part of the day when this publication made an attempt to comment on the story. Asked to confirm the above details, Phiri did not respond to this publication’s request. Both Phiri and the BDP have been under fire from the opposition who have been accusing them of being partners in crime. In their contentious press statement, the opposition bloc-the Umbrella For Democratic Change-UDC-described Khato Civils as “a major beneficiary of irregularity”-a statement that Khato Civils have taken UDC to court over saying the statement was understood by reasonably thinking people to mean that Khato Civils was a corrupt company that thrives in irregularly and corruptly awarded tenders.
Another statement of dispute made by the UDC was that Phiri was sent by his BDP handlers to utter such words of attack to the UDC- a statement which Phiri and Khato say was understood to mean that “Phiri was not a genuine businessman, but someone under instruction from the ruling party to oppose, attack and destroy the credibility of the political opposition.” Khato Civils and Phiri are currently suing UDC for a cumulative amount of P5 million- a case which the UDC has vowed to defend to the bitter end.
“The 1st Plaintiff (Khato Civils) has thus been defamed by the defendant (UDC) in its good name and reputation.. and as a result of the defamation suffered damages in the sum of P2 500 0000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pula). The 2nd Plaintiff (Simbi Phiri) has thus been defamed by the defendant (UDC) in its good name and reputation.. and as a result of the defamation suffered damages in the sum of P2 500 0000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Pula),” reads Khato Civils court papers.
Highly placed sources say a lot of secrets may continue to tumble out as the BDP descend in to chaos and disunity as the fight for power intensifies and divides party leadership. “This is what you expect to happen when the centre cannot hold. This matter was mismanaged and it was always coming to this point,” advised a highly senior BDP member.
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.
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.
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.