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What IEC officials said at PAC

The members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament this week questioned the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) about the security of the voters’ data.

After initially stating that the Commission was the only entity authorized to access the data; officials then changed their story and indicated that other entities, such as the Department of Information and Technology (DIT), who are also responsible for the management of the country’s ICT infrastructure, have access. Doreen Serumola answered DIT and IEC have access to the data.

Dintle Rapoo, the manager of elections operations at the Independent Electoral Commission, stated that the Department of Information Technology (DIT) is the custodian of all government data bases. He also noted that the voter’s database is protected using various methods. Just like other databases given security, voter database is given that.

He also stated that the only people who have access to the voter’s database are the individuals who are assigned to the various DIT stations. These individuals are the administrators and consultants who are contracted by the commission to provide consultancy services.

At any given time whenever there is any entrance to our database we are able to see the track and although there is access of the administrators as required, there hasnt been any unscrupulous activity that we have seen in the voters roll because we do can see the trails of any person who have entered particularly the administrators.


IEC’s Serumola also confirmed that the draft bill that seeks to make the commission independent from the president is currently in the process of being tabled in parliament. She also stated that she is not sure when the bill will be passed. She told the committee that the IEC does not have the draft themselves. She was asked by the Chairman of the PAC to submit the draft to the committee.


According to Serumola, the commission has already made a recommendation to the government regarding the use of electronic voter registration. However, she noted that this method is not an electronic voting system.

The initiative was intended to occur before 2024 general election but we are in 2022 now and registration will be done in 2023 but the time is short to allow the electronic registration however, the law can be passed but implementation will be the problem, she said.


She was also asked about plans to increase the number of polling stations in the country. She noted that currently, there is a delimitation commission that has been appointed to reduce the boundaries of the constituencies. After the commission has completed its work, a report will then be produced by the secretary, which will then be forwarded to the other stakeholders.

She also noted that during that time, the secretary is also empowered to draw the various districts and polling stations.I believe we will have it considered of growing polling stations, she said.


She further indicated that the Commission had made recommendations of counting votes at polling stations. There have been concerns that no one knows what happens to ballot papers and boxes between the period ballot boxes are moved from the polling stations to the counting centers.

But if the law allows for counting at the polling stations, then the complaints will be taken care of because as soon as everyone has cast their vote, counting will be done. Such complaints will not exist anymore especially on whether anyone has interfered with the ballot boxes during the time they were moving from point A to B, She explained.


According to the acting secretary, the commission conducted supplementary registration from January to March and another registration that started in May is also ongoing until July. The continuous registration will ensure that those who did not appear in the voters roll in 2019 are registered, she said.

We have youth who had not turned 18 by 2019 general elections, its important for the nation to register so that they can participate in the by-elections and referendums because if their names do not appear in the voters roll , they will not be allowed to vote, Serumola said.

She said when registration period ends, they collect the data then they prepare a supplementary voters roll which will take 2-3 months then publish the roll for 21 days for everyone to inspect the roll to give everyone who have comments about the roll and once the supplementary voters registration has matured it is merged with the current voters roll (2019) and will become one roll.


Speaking to the subject of voter apathy, IEC manager of elections affairs and Field Operations, Rapoo noted that the lack of resources is one of the factors that contributed to the low participation of voters in the 2019 general election. She also mentioned that civic education is also a factor that contributes to the low number of people participating in the elections.

We have stakeholders whose role is to mobilize the citizen to participate in electoral processes but that doesnt happen almost throughout the 5 years except a few months just before the elections when they are preparing for election observation but majority of the work should have been to mobilize the citizens while there was still some time, he said.

Rapoo insisted that the situation is worse when it comes to by-elections because they get as low as 24% of the people in the roll coming out to vote. He said previously they had made recommendations to allow other forms of identity to vote such as drivers Licence, passport but it was not approved.

But I can confirm that in the recommendations sent to the government recently, its not one of them, he said. Rapoo confirmed that the commission supports the public funding of political parties. He also indicated that the commission had also submitted a package of recommendations to the government.


Mascom, Letshego partner to deliver the MyZaka instant loan

31st March 2023

Letshego Botswana has recently partnered with Mascom to launch the Mascom MyZaka Instant Loan, a customer focused mobile money microloan service designed to provide customers with swift and convenient access to funds, driven by the underlying theme of “Ithuse” meaning “help yourself”

The loan is said to have been developed through a partnership driven by a deep customer focus with the key objectives of access, convenience and flexible financial support to customers of Letshego Botswana and Mascom through instantly disbursed short-term loans from P50 to P1 500 over the period of one month.

Letshego’s head of transformation, Molebogeng Malomo highlighted that working through agile methodologies, the partnership was able to develop and be released as what they call a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or solution. “In keeping up with the spirit of design thinking and agile methodologies, the experiences and viewpoints of both Letshego Botswana and Mascom’s customers will be valuable to inform further enhancements to the Mascom MyZaka solution,” he said.

He further noted that the partnership and the development of the MyZaka instant loan will provide both the organizations to diversify their offering and customer base, while also offering the customer more choices and flexibility to initiate and be in control of their loan requests through the self-service mobile based application.

Mascom’s Chief Executive Officer, Dzene Makhwade-Seboni also alluded that their origins, priorities and initiatives are firmly rooted in Botswana and in the success of all Batswana, and that their strategy and intent is supported by embracing innovative problem-solving.

“The speed with which Letshego has grown over the years gives us confidence that we have partnered with the right service provider. Their expertise and most of all, innovation, a value we both share, will be beneficial to MyZaka Mobile Money for growth and for the convenience of our subscribers,” she concluded.

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DCEC granted warrant to arrest Khama twins

29th March 2023

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has been granted permission to apprehend the former Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, and his twin brother Anthony Khama.

Information gathered by this publication suggests that the DCEC is actively searching for the Khama brothers, this is in connection with events that transpired whilst Tshekedi was Minister of Environment. The duo is currently in exile in South Africa together with their elder brother, and former President Lt Gen Ian Khama.

Approximately two weeks ago, the corruption-busting agency discreetly filed for an arrest warrant that was approved by the Broadhurst Magistrate Court for the two to be taken into custody, according to a highly placed source within the government enclave.

DCEC is also said to have filed an affidavit signed by a high-ranking officer known to this publication. Reports indicate that after being presented with details of the case, the Broadhurst magistrate issued the agency an arrest warrant.

It is also believed that the agency has been conducting extensive investigations into the supposed suspects for quite some time. Furthermore, Weekend Post has it on good word that the DCEC has been looking for methods to summon the two for questioning but has been unsuccessful.

According to unconfirmed reports, DCEC met with attorney Victor Ramalepa, who refused to accept the summons, saying that he is not their attorney. Furthermore, it is believed that DCEC has enlisted the assistance of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) in flagging the suspects’ names in the International Criminal Police Organisation INTERPOL.

Responding to WeekendPost enquiries, DCEC spokesperson Lentswe Motshoganetsi said, “I am not in good position to confirm or deny the allegation,” adding that such allegations may fall within the operational purview of the DCEC.

When contacted for comment, Ramalepa briefly stated that he is unaware of the purported arrest warrant. “I know nothing about the warrant and I haven’t been served with anything,” he said.

Meanwhile, former president Lt Gen Ian Khama recently issued a statement stating that DIS is intensifying the harassment and intimidation of him, family, friends and office employees.

“It is reprehensible for state officials and agencies to abuse government resources to terrorise their own citizens for personal gain,” said the former president in a statement.

He also stated that his brother TK’s staff and security were ordered to falsely implicate him. “Their desperate tactics will never work, it only serves to motivate me more to pursue regime change and free Botswana from tyranny,” he said

This comes after the corruption busting agency wants to interview the alleged suspects as they are still hiding in South Africa since last year.

Despite the hostility between government and Khama family going unabated, last month, Masisi extended an olive branch to Khama in political rally, indicating that he hopes the two of them settle their differences, of which the former responded by welcoming the gesture.

Khama further said his brother, Tshekedi, will facilitate the reconciliation of his behalf. Many have indicated that Masisi did not say what he said in good faith, and was only scoring political brownies since he was in Khama’s territory in Shoshong.

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DCEC’s Tshepo Pilane still has his mojo

29th March 2023

Tshepo Pilane silenced his critics after being named the head of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) in May of last year and served his opponents humble pie. Many believed he would only last for a month, but almost a year later, he is still standing.

Pilane, a trained soldier whose appointment surprised both the general public and some officers within the DCEC walls, has never glanced back in his duty to steer the DCEC ship forward.

It is alleged that immediately after his appointment the man embarked on a nation-wide trip touring the DCEC offices across the country in order to confirm and reaffirm the DCEC’s mandate. Sources from inside the DCEC claim that Pilane won the hearts of many DCEC employees due to his humility and plain message; “people at the top of the DCEC will come and go but the mandate of the DCEC remains relevant and unchanged.”

Pilane was appointed the Acting DCEC Director General at a time when the organisation was undergoing turbulence through court proceedings in which the suspended Director General Tymon Katlholo had interdicted the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing the DCEC premises. At the time, the DIS had raided the DCEC offices in the absence of Katlholo claiming to be looking for high profile corruption cases allegedly held by Katlholo.

At the time Pilane was Head of the DCEC Intelligence Division holding the position of Senior Assistant Director General reporting directly to the Deputy Director General Operations Ms Priscilla Israel. Contrary to his detractors, Pilane who is a reserved and humble person by nature won the support and backing of many DCEC officers due to his unassuming nature.

In a recent questionnaire sent to the DCEC regarding Pilane’s term in office, the DCEC was resolute on its commitment towards the fight against corruption. When quizzed on allegations of rife corruption since he took over, Pilane through his Public Relations (PR) office stated that the corruption landscape in Botswana remains unchanged as the DCEC continues to receive reports on allegations of corruption with sectors such as procurement (tenders and supplies), Transport (licensing and certificates), and land (dubious allocation and collusion) still leading issues reported. This trend has been consistence in the DCEC database for more than 10 years.

When further quizzed on accusations that suggest that due to the infighting at the agency, particularly at the top management, Investigations of cases has dropped significantly the DCEC claimed ignorance to the matter, stating that they are not aware of any “infights” at the DCEC “at the top management”, further stating that, investigations of cases has increased significantly, contrary to the allegations raised. “The DCEC is currently seeking new ways of expediting the investigations in order to fast track its enforcement role,” said the DCEC Head of Public Relations Lentswe Motshoganetsi. He further stated that the DCEC is in pursuit of high profile cases involving money and assets valued over P900 million. Three companies are involved in the scandal and two cases have already been committed to court while on one, investigations are about to be completed.

When WeekendPost inquired about Pilane’s roadmap, the DCEC stated that in the past, anti-corruption interventions were reactive, particularly in dealing with national projects that involve large sums of money. It was further started that in most instances investigating such matters takes a long time and in most instances, the money looted form Government in never recovered. As a result, the DCEC has taken a deliberate stance to attach its officers from the Corruption Prevention Division to be part of the implementation of these projects before, during, and after implementation.

The DCEC cited the Economic Stimulus Programme which, although meant to grow the economy and uplift Batswana from poverty, yielded incidents of corruption and poor workmanship. To date, the DCEC is still grappling with cases as some projects were not done, or were completed with defects beyond repair. Currently the DCEC is involved at the Ministry of Education conducting project risk management in the Multiple Path Ways Program at Moeng College and Maun Senior School. This intervention will spread to other sectors of the economy as part of the DCEC’s corruption prevention strategy.

Of recent, the DCEC has been in the media for all the wrong reasons following leakage of high profile cases and allegations claiming that the executive management is at war with each other more particularly with some within the agency harbouring ambitions to dethrone Pilane from the Directorship.

Although the infighting was denied by Pilane’s Office, he acknowledged that leakage of information is a problem across Government and stated that it is a pain at the DCEC. He however stated that Staff has been cautioned against leakage of investigation information and that they have roped in the Botswana Police to assist in investigating incidents of leakage. He further stated that they have increased continuous vetting and lifestyle audits for DCEC employees in order to enforce discipline.

Pilane’s term comes to an end in May 2023 after serving the DCEC for a year on acting basis. It will be in the public interest to see who will be given the baton to continue the anti-corruption journey if Pilane’s contract is not renewed. The DCEC has seen arrival and departure of Director Generals having alternated the top seat five times in less than seven years.


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