A private Facebook conversation which was leaked this week revealed how a Mmegi editor plans to defend the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) and to fight the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and BOFEPUSU.
Mmegi Monitor editor, Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe who was strongly tipped to take over as editor of Mmegi newspaper following the resignation of Ntibinyane Ntibinyane two weeks ago wrote in his Facebook page that he feels “strongly” that the BDP and the DISS are unfairly vilified in the media. He also spoke out against what he called “an era of combined UDC ÔÇô BOFEPUSU press censorship and dictatorship.”
A Facebook faceless friend who goes by the sobriquet 360 degrees sent an “inbox” message to Gaotlhobogwe stating : “I kind of liked your lead story this week” The Mmegi Monitor editor responded by saying : “ Thank u buddy for the support I needed balls of steel in this era of combined UDC bofepusu press censorship n dictatorship. They demonize n isolate for embarrassment any journalist who dare raise a finger against them.
Gaotlhobogwe who accused the UDC of spreading paranoia said if he is appointed Mmegi editor, “the paranoia will stop.”
360 Degrees asked: “why do you take it upon yourself to do clean up campaign for the BDP and DIS, don’t you think it is their own fish to fry? My question is what is motivating you to pursue that course?
Gaotlhobogwe responded: “look the issue at hand here is fairness n objectivity. Let’s remove personal hatred n approach intelligence and security issues with caution and avoid recklessness.
360 Degrees came back : “interesting, but my point is, you already have a preconceived position that BDP and DIS are unfairly vilified and that you want to stop paranoia being spread, how can you be impartial in that case?
Gaotlhobogwe responded: That’s a disease I see n seeing a disease n providing cure can only b rite my frnd”.
The Mmegi Monitor Editor also wrote that if he is appointed Mmegi editor he will expose how the United States government is funding the UDC. “The editor calls the shot, period; boss everybody sucks up to the editor, any newspaper is the mirror of its editor, esp its content. Reporters will follow the editor’s lead, im telling you, no doubt about that. USA funding of the UDC, if there is proof we will publish such. USA would do so indirectly like they did with the funding of the radio debate on Gabz FM, so you could say they were funding the opposition under the pretext that government media starves them of the broadcasting privileges they need.”
The Mmegi Monitor editor who goes by the sobriquet “Monkisto” was recently listed by Asparagus as a DISS agent. Quizzed by his interlocutor on the issue he charged: “Im a victim of asparagus, if y didn’t know, they tried to soil my name. Luckily, for me they got all of their facts mixed up and not making sense. After consulting some of the victims who are in the media they are convinced that UDC, more importantly BMD activists, with the help of some frustrated former editors and their friends were behind the attacks… asparagus is as hopeless as the Kgothang guy, if they wanted to be taken seriously why the fu#@k didn’t they release the porn tape they alleged they had, they could have simply distributed it via whatsup, desperate fools.
The “Kgothang guy” he is referring to is the self confessed former DISS agent who recently told Mmegi and Gabz Fm that he had been assigned by the spy agency to assassinate Gabane MP Pius Mokgware.
Asked by 360 degrees what his basis for dismissing the “Kgothang guy” was, Gaotlhobogwe said, “the fool cant even mention one guy he has killed, he keeps on stating rumours, are gatwe mang mang o bolailwe, look, it is not about gatwe mang mang a reng, you said you are a killer, tell us whom you killed, the next thing you tell us how you failed to kill Mokgware, well what a failure mr assassin, exactly as an assassin, who was recruited for the job, name your bloody corpses… zill, coz nigga aint got none!
Asked by 360 Degrees if he thinks Kgothang is a functionary of the BMD, Gaotlhobogwe said “that’s very obvious, he is hanging with the Mokgwares and Bayford … ironically Sunday Standard dismissed his version of the story, coz he went to Sunday Standard first before coming to Mmegi. BMD operate and feed on paranoia, causing panic confusion, anger and paranoia among the citizens who start to believe that their peace is gone and Khama and Kgosi (sic) is busy annihilating good citizens one by one.”
360 degrees responded by saying, “interesting. So if the story was dismissed by Sunday Standard, why did Mmegi run with it? Gaotlhobogwe stated, “because the Mmegi Editor is a stooge of Bayford and Bayford who operates with Mokgware wanted the story out, so the editor had to redeem himself.
Gaotlhobogwe told 360 degrees that if he is appointed Mmegi editor, “for sure you will see the end of paranoia, that I promise you personally and Batswana in general.”
Asked: “Are you of the view that BDP and DIS are unfairly vilified in the media? Gaotlhobogwe responded “strongly so!!!”
Then 360 Degrees asked, “So is this strong feeling that the BDP and DIS are vilified not going to compromise your editorial content to their advantage and you end up like the rest of the haters? Gaotlhobogwe said “the Editor calls the shot, period; boss everybody sucks up to the editor, any newspaper is the mirror of its editor, esp its content.”
Gaotlhobogwe confirmed the Facebook conversation to the Sunday Standard, but insisted that what he wrote did not represent his view. He explained that initially, his faceless Facebook friend sounded pro government “so I said what I thought he wanted to hear.” Gaotlhobogwe said he had already apologised to former Mmegi editor Ntibinyane Ntibinyane and attorney Dick Bayford explaining that they Facebook threat was meant to be private and it did not represent his true views. He said he was hoping that by leading his interlocutor on, he would ultimately reveal his identity.