It has been more than three months since the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) was attacked by cyber criminals, and Police says they have not made any arrests related to the attack.
Reports reaching this publication suggest that since the hackers attacked its network systems, the MVA has been struggling to offer its daily services to the public. In a brief interview with this publication, Serious Crimes Squad commander, detective senior superintendent, Mogotsi Rankhudu, said an intensive cyber investigation is currently underway in order to establish the motive behind the MVA hacking.
He said the matter was reported sometime in December and no one has been arrested in-connection with the matter. “The investigations are still at the infant stage as the detectives are busy on the ground trying to piece any little information that may lead to possible arrests. Such investigations are often complex and take time as most of the hackers are outside Botswana,” he says.
It is reported that the hackers allegedly seized crucial information of clients from the organisation and the Fund has hired an international expert to restore the network systems to normality. It is however not yet clear whether the hackers have solicited ransom money from the Fund in-order to release the crucial information that the hackers have seized.
Responding to WeekendPost queries, MVA Fund spokesperson, Mookodi Seisa, confirmed that his organization was attacked by hackers almost four months ago. “I can confirm to your publication that the Fund experienced systems break down, owing to a cyber-attack,” says Seisa, adding that “we experienced these challenges on the 30th of November 2021 when our systems froze frequently”.
He said since the attack on the network systems, they have encountered challenges in undertaking their daily operations throughout the country. “This has affected all our offices nationwide and our operations have been severely affected as we are only able to offer limited services,” he says. He added that due to these challenges, the Fund has now resorted to offer clients manual services that include medical assistance, funeral expenses benefits, loss of support income and general customer services.
He stated that in line with existing protocols, they have notified and engaged the relevant stakeholders such as hospitals and emergency, to mention but a few, and they are working around the clock to resolve the challenges. Seisa revealed that initially the Fund hired a local consultant to resolve the challenge but due to the complexity of the problem the local consultant was unable to fix the problem. They then resorted to an international consultant who is busy on the ground at the moment trying to bring the system to normality.
He further revealed that they made it clear to the consultant that the Fund cannot pay any ransom money if solicited by the hackers. Even though it is the first incident of its kind, he assured the general public that the Fund is busy improving its system security protocols to minimize future potential security breaches though the cyber security is complex field.
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.