Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cloak and dagger intrigues in police commissioner succession race

Brigadier Goitseleene Morake, who is tipped to take over from Thebeyame Tsimako as Commissioner of Police, has become the target of an elaborate smear campaign aimed at creating doubts about his fitness for the plum post.
Sunday Standard investigations have uncovered how a plot to plant negative stories about the Botswana Defence Force officer in the local media has bombed.

A number of big names are being mentioned behind the dirty tricks campaign to portray Morake as an irresponsible leader who defaults on his child maintenance.

Independent investigations, however, revealed that Morake was caught out in a communications glitch in between switching banks, a mistake that has been acknowledged by his baby’s mother and her lawyers.

The smear campaign began to unravel after an attempt to plant the story in the Sunday Standard failed. The promoters of the campaign then tried to plant the story in the Botswana Gazette and one local radio station but both were also able to see through it all.

Morake, who is believed to be President Ian Khama’s preferred choice for the position, would displace former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kenny Kapinga, who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Resident Ambassador in what is believed to be the final stroke in Khama’s whispered plan to assume absolute control of the disciplined forces.

A career police officer, Kapinga was until recently looked at as a possible future Commissioner of Botswana Police. Kapinga’s curious transfer harks back to the ouster of Major General Pius Mokgware a few months ago. Mokgware, who was the BDF second in command, was strongly tipped to take over from Tebogo Masire as army commander until he was dismissed from the army under controversial circumstances.

Ironically, Morake presided over the commission of inquiry that resulted in Mokgware’s dismissal from the army. While Morake comes from a staunch Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) family, both Kapinga and Mokgware were viewed as pro-opposition after they turned down proposals that they should take up the BDP membership.

The campaign against Morake suggest conflicting vested interest in the government high command over who can be trusted as the country’s guardian of law and order. Morake would not comment on the allegations saying he still has to get clearance from BDF commander Lt Gen Tebogo Masire who is currently out of the country.

Brig Morake is commandant of the Defence Command and Staff College.The purpose of the college is to train and develop officers to command and lead units. This is out of realisation that commanders at all levels require competent Staff Officers who are specialists in various military competencies to support commanders in making utility plans and critical decisions to ensure successful conduct of operations. DCSC is in partnership with the University of Botswana and, in particular, the Centre for Strategic Studies, which delivers approximately 30 percent of the curriculum. Work is underway on Associate Status with the University of Botswana and will at the end of the course award a UB Diploma in Military and Strategic Studies (DMSS).


Read this week's paper