Member of Parliament for Maun West Tawana Moremi on Wednesday accused the BDP government of conspiring to commit him to a mental hospital in order to regain his constituency.
He said this during discussions on the Banking (Amendment) Bill presented by Minister of Finance Kenneth Mathambo. Moremi used the story to draw an analogy between his experiences, and the possible abuse of power by the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) when requesting information in respect of customer’s details or banking transactions.
“In Eastern Europe, especially Russia,” Moremi said, “they know how to deal with politicians, using the Mental Disorders Act to take care of their political opponents. When they conspire against you, you will find yourself in mental hospital where the only thing the doctor on duty ought to do is sign a reception order, certifying that you are not fit to hold office and consequently rendering your parliamentary seat vacant,” Moremi said.
He said from there one’s whole life remains meaningless as they lose their spouse, money, and possessions.
“I escaped mental hospital by a whisker, with calls coming in from very, very high places in government instructing the doctor on duty at the mental hospital to sign the reception order with the aim of rendering my parliamentary seat vacant so a by-election could be held.” Fortunately, Moremi said, he got wind of the hatched plot approximately two years before it occurred and when he was thrown in the back of a police van in 2017 he remembered the plan, orchestrated by the Office of the President under the previous administration a couple of years earlier.
“I decided to calm down and play my cards right,” Moremi told Parliament. “I’m talking about victimization here, serious abuse of power with no possible avenues for recourse. Using public office to settle political scores.” He said giving institutions such as FIA that excessive powers make them vulnerable to possible abuse. Moremi’s comment was a follow up to Leader of Opposition Duma Boko’s query in relation to the proposed amendment of Section 43 to include the Financial Intelligence Agency amongst those that can request information in respect of customer’s details or banking transactions.
“What would trigger such an inquiry,” Boko asked rhetorically. “What would entitle the Financial Intelligence Agency to make the request? What would have happened for that to be the case? In other words, as I know you folks do not like me, and you do not have any reason to because I do not like you too, but if that is the case and you then instruct these agencies because they fall under you, your Government, to harass and request information about me, there is absolutely no basis, there is nothing suspicious about anything I do or anything I may have done at that given point, would Financial Intelligence Agency be entitled for instance, to willy-nilly make these requests? I want information on so and so, I want information on that person.” Boko asked whether there had to be a certain set of circumstances that would become the condition precedent to making the request.