Sunday, May 29, 2022

DISS in plot to block Tshekedi Khama’s vice presidential bid

An attempt by some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big shorts to steal Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi’s docket from the Directorate on Corruption and economic Crime (DCEC) allegedly provides the smoking gun evidence of the spy agency’s involvement in a group that is plotting to block Tshekedi Khama’s bid for vice presidency. The attempt allegedly masterminded by a party heavyweight with links to President Khama’s inner circle, is believed to be part of a bigger plot to stop the president brother, Tshekedi Khama from ascending to the Vice Presidency.

The President’s inner circle has always been riven by factions and internal fights to gain his ear. The race for vice presidency marks the endgame in the live and let die contest where one faction will survive and the other will die. It is the fight to the finish. Tshekedi Khama and the president’s legal advisor, Parks Tafa have constantly clashed with one section of President Khama’s inner circle of friends which critics depict as “tenderpreneurs” who entered politics with the hope of material gains.

Tshekedi Khama and Tafa allegedly felt that the president had become captive to this stubbornly insular group which is believed to have systematically weeded out all contenders to the Vice Presidency and now has the president’s brother on its cross hairs. The group which has powerful business interests has been able to win over the DISS resulting in an alliance strong enough to scuttle the president’s succession plan. Tafa and Tshekedi on the other hand are baying for the prosecution of President Khama’s most trusted lieutenant, DISS Director General Isaac Kgosi who has been under investigation by the DCEC following allegations of corruption.

This has resulted in the re-alignment of alliances in the contest for Vice President. The old rule that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has shaped the relationship between the DISS boss and some of his erstwhile enemies in the President’s inner circle. By having a common foe in Tshekedi Khama and Parks Tafa, they have developed a marriage of convenience in the campaign to block Tshekedi’s bid for Vice Presidency. This group has been able to harness most BDP structures to its side and has become so powerful that on the eve of Khama’s decision to appoint his deputy, most likely his brother, there are fears in the Tshekedi/Tafa camp that the succession odds could still change at the last minute.

This explains the recent attempt by the Attorney General and the BDP command to change the parliament voting rules for Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Most political observers see Tafa’s invisible hand in the failed court battle to ensure that parliamentarians endorse the President’s choice of vice president by a public show of hand instead of the traditional secret ballot, a move widely derided as an attempt to browbeat parliamentarians into accepting Khama’s choice for vice president.

Party insiders say Tafa is the equivalent of a political black hole – exerting a powerful but mostly invisible force on decisions. During most of Khama’s term, Tafa’s office functioned as a kind of parallel Attorney General’s chambers.

Among those opposing Tshekedi’s vice Presidency are President Khama’s most trusted ally and Minister of Sports Youth and Culture Thapelo Olopeng, his business partner Guma Moyo and their erstwhile rival DISS Director General Isaac Kgosi who have allegedly joined forces to back Nonofo Molefhi for the vice Presidency.

Sunday Standard has turned up information that the DCEC recently launched an investigation against a BDP big short with links to the president’s inner circle and three party activists believed to have masterminded the plan to steal Kgosi’s docket. The quartet is part of a team that is championing Nonofo Molefhi’s bid for vice presidency against Tshekedi Khama. It is however believed that Molefhi may just be a pawn in the power game and was not privy to the plan to steal Kgosi’s docket. DCEC Investigations against the BDP wannabe kingmaker (name known to this paper) and his associates were however compromised and dropped after Umbrella for Democratic Change MP for Gabane/Mankgodi, Pius Mokgware told a political rally in his constituency that a certain lawyer from Tlokweng, believed to be working for some BDP big shorts was caught trying to bribe a DCEC employees to steal Kgosi’s docket.

Independent investigations by the Sunday Standard have confirmed Mokgware’s claims that the young Tlokweng lawyer approached DCEC spokesperson Lentswe Motshoganetsi with an offer of P350 000 if he stole the docket. Sunday Standard can reveal that after dropping investigations against the BDP members, the DCEC then initiated investigations against some of its staff members on suspicions that they may have leaked information on the high profile investigations against the BDP quartet. Responding to Sunday Standard queries earlier this year, the DCEC, however, denied the claims insisting that they were baseless. Motshoganetsi who was approached by the lawyers who is also known to this paper said the “rumours are false, malicious and unfortunate.” He said he recalls one particular incident sometime back where an accused person attempted to bribe a DCEC official with cash amounting to P20 000 who was involved in a land corruption case in Francistown. He said the matter was then investigated by DCEC and eventually taken to court.

The Sunday Standard can however reveal that a DCEC investigating team put the Tlokweng lawyer who tried to bribe Motshoganetsi under physical surveillance and followed him to a rendezvous at Wimpy Western Bye pass where he met the BDP quartet.

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