Thursday, October 1, 2020

Deep State closes rank around Kgosi

Investigations into former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi’s alleged corruption this week revealed the depth of Botswana’s “deep state”- an intricate security, intelligence, and economic superstructure composed of underlings who are fiercely loyal to kgosi and former president Ian Khama which was designed to protect their interests long after they had stepped down.

A joint raid on Kgosi’s properties by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Botswana Police Service (BPS), Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) and DIS planned for last week hit a brick wall as the investigating agents could not secure a search warrant in what was believed to be a clam up by the Botswana Police Service and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Sources close to the investigations revealed this week that they were consistently coming up against the deep state, which is a strong and sprawling juggernaut consisting of not just the security agencies but also media outlets and the judiciary.

DCEC

Investigating officers this week turned up apparent systemic evidence tempering of Kgosi’s corruption docket by DCEC officers in a bid to kill the case against the former DIS boss. The DCEC Deputy Director General (Operations) Joseph Mathambo is expected to investigate the handling of Isaac Kgosi’s corruption docket following a meeting with Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kabo Leinaeng on Friday where it emerged that there was possible systemic evidence tempering in high profile cases at the DCEC before they are handed over to the DPP. Among the cases that were discussed was Isaac Kgosi’s docket number DOC/IF/ 2011/001166 and former Director of Roads Department Kabo Kote’s docket number DOC/IF 201100394 which have been gathering dust at DPP due to insufficient evidence. It emerged that the DPP has written numerous letters to the former DCEC Director General Rose Seretse and the current Director General Bruno Paledi raising issues on the missing evidence, but the letters were kept away from investigating officers. The most recent letter was written on 19th October ref L17/8/5111(12) State vs Kote and two others. The letter was written by Ambrose Mubikwa from DPP and addressed to former DCEC deputy DG operations Eugene Wasetso. A number of other letters by Nomsa Moatswi from the DPP to the DCEC on the missing evidence on the Isaac Kgosi docket were also not acted upon. Information that the DCEC had been captured by the deep state first emerged last year during investigations into the misappropriation of pensioners’ funds. The nine person task team assigned to the investigation collapsed after four key members resigned because they feared for their lives. This followed an attempt on the life of the intelligence lead investigator (name withheld) and assassination plots against his colleagues by the alleged renegade spies allegedly working with some powerful DCEC insiders. The task team was also forced to withdraw its informants from the operation because “the ground was getting too hot”, Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.

Botswana Police

Security agents were this week complaining that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) was dragging its feet in helping secure a new warrant for a joint operation with DIS, DCEC and BURS against Kgosi. This followed an earlier search led by BURS two weeks ago during which the search team left behind documents and weapons which incriminate the BPS command. In what was suspected to be Isaac Kgosi’s blackmail treasure trove, the investigating team turned up a huge pile of case dockets, including of murder  involving serving police officers. The BURS team however left the documents behind because they were not covered by their search warrant.

The team also left behind illegally licenced pistols which they came about during their search at one of Kgosi’s residences. It has since emerged that the BPS Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe and his officers acted illegally albeit under duress when he issued licences to Kgosi and former President Lt Gen Ian Khama to. The Sunday Standard can reveal that in 2013 Kgosi was granted a licence by the Arms registry to import two military hand guns from Israel under the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS). A month later, he registered the two guns under his name and that of President Khama although the two guns were procured and imported by the DIS. Makgophe who licensed the two military guns overreached himself as he is only authorised by the Act to issue firearms through the arms quota raffle. Section 5 of the Act stipulates that only the minister of Defence and Security is authorised to issue a firearm outside the arms quota raffle. The Minister however cannot issue a licence for military weapons as no private citizen can own a military grade weapon. It has since emerged that close to a dozen military weapons were illegally licensed to Khama and Kgosi. It has further emerged that the commissioner has illegally issued a number of other fire arms to retiring senior police officers. There is speculation that the Botswana Police Service may have sabotaged the joint operation against Kgosi which was planned for last week because it was going to reveal incriminating evidence against the BPS command.

Judiciary/DPP

Fear that a section of the judiciary may be captured by the deep state runs so deep that the DIS and BURS investigating officers were forced to approach a magistrate far out of time to secure a search warrant against Kgosi two weeks ago. Suspicions that the DPP may also be captured first came to the fore during the drafting of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of the Nation Address. President Masisi had included a paragraph in his address wherein he complained that the DPP and the DCEC were sabotaging his attempt to fight corruption. The president, however later expunged the paragraph. He however confirmed in a subsequent interview with the Sunday Standard that he was forced to delete a paragraph which showed his disgruntlement with investigating authourities.

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