Thursday, July 9, 2020

DISS in psychological warfare to save Kgosi

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services has escalated the “Save Isaac Kgosi” campaign into a psychological warfare which is part doubt-mongering and part fear-mongering ÔÇô Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.
Sources close to the campaign have revealed a two-pronged strategy against a series of media reports on alleged corruption by DISS Director General, Isaac Kgosi which has roped in local top notch PR strategists and lawyers.
Sources close to the “save Kgosi campaign” allege that the first part of the strategy referred to as the “information operation” is a contrarian campaign that involves doubt mongering tactics aimed at sowing doubt in the public’s mind. The information part of the campaign is part masterminded by former Debswana Public Relations Manager, Jacob Sesinyi.
The doubt mongering strategy is a creation of international PR firm Hill and Knowlton and it has used it effectively to create public doubt around the dangers of tobacco use and later asbestos.
Sesinyi is himself a prot├®g├® of Hill and Knowlton, having worked with the international PR firm while at Debswana during the multi-million Pula Diamond for Development campaign aimed at saving Botswana from the international blood diamond campaign. Hill and Knowlton came to be associated with the tag line: “doubt is our product.”
To sow doubt in the public mind, the DISS strategy involves writing letters and opinion pages of newspapers deliberately ignoring the big picture, while attacking and pouncing on the gaps and uncertainties in news stories carried by local newspapers on alleged corruption by the DISS boss.
Curiously, Sesinyi who is now fighting the DISS corner was part of a team that was investigating an alleged plot by the spy agency to assassinate the late Debswana boss, Louis Nchindo. As part of the investigation, Sesinyi was once assigned by Nchindo to fly to South Africa with Sunday Standard editor, Outsa Mokone and lawyer Dick Bayford to meet Kenny Kunene popularly known as the Sushi King and his business partner Gayton Mackenzi who had allegedly used their connections with the South African intelligence to get information on the planned assassination against Nchindo. Kunene and Mackenzie who were associated with the ANC then, would later be outed by the Sowetan newspaper as major sponsors of EFF leader Julius Malema.
The trip by Sesinyi, Bayford and Mokone was however postponed to the following week, less than two hours before the booked flight departed. A few days before the planned trip to South Africa, Nchido was reported missing and his corpse later found in the Kasane wilderness.
The second leg of the strategy involves barraging local newspapers with law-suits to create a chilling effect against covering the story on Kgosi’s alleged corruption. The DISS has roped in Sesinyi’s father in law, Sidney Pilane and a local law firm, Chibanda Makgalemele and Associates.
Late last year Kgosi released a rebuttal that was a creation of the efforts of his lawyer and PR agent.
Unfortunately for him, the rebuttal raised more questions than answers as the media and the public started asking even more questions stemming from the rebuttal.
Curiously, Pilane who is now associated with the “Save Kgosi” campaign was once associated with the opposition Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and even sourced and paid for a pathologist that was engaged to investigate BMD leader, Gomolemo Motswaledi’s death. This followed reports that Motswaledi had been assassinated by the DISS.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.