Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Inside how DISS captured Khama

A number of fake intelligence reports by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) are reported to have played a key role in President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s foreign policy towards China and his handling of the saga involving Bakgatla Paramount Chief, Kgafela Kgafela II. The reports are part of an elaborate DISS black propaganda operation employed to influence President Khama’s decisions.

The reports suggest that the author had profiled President Khama and used the president’s passion for wildlife and conservation to turn him against the Chinese government and the Bakgatla Paramount Chief.

The black propaganda op documents, copies of which have been passed to the Sunday Standard were written by DISS commissioned “independent intelligence analyst” and agent provocateur Jerry Chitube for President Khama. Chitube has since been deported to Zambia under controversial circumstances.

One of the documents under the headline, “Game of Horns” stated that the Chinese Embassy in Gaborone was masterminding elephant and rhino poaching operations in Botswana.  “The ties that we have with the Chinese government do not help us at all. In fact, that has created an opportunity to do all this right under our noses simply because we can look the other way and nothing really looks suspicious. The other reason again is that the Diplomats within the Chinese embassy are at the heart of the operation and that diplomacy has been extended to chief links like Lu Ping. With diplomatic immunity, unlimited finance and great cover business, Lu Ping can manoeuvre how so ever he wills and he will get those horns.”

Lu Ping is reported to be a Chinese ivory poaching godfather who controls the global racket. The report further states that “another associate of Lu Ping, only known as Cheng has recently surfaced as one of Lu Ping’s coordinators. Chen is very known (sic) for his diamond deals. He is said to have evaded the LianbangDiaochaju (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and is currently in Botswana on falsified documents. Through Chen, AK47 assault rifles have been given to poachers most of which are ex military alongside the 3006 rifles and other long range weaponry. The AK47 is meant for retaliation, now that the government of Botswana has order a shoot to kill on sight.”

The report further observed that, “Chinese are able to get large contracts in Botswana and Zambia therefore making it fairly easy to disguise their activities in legitimate business. The heart of the operation is said to be the Chinese embassy in Botswana.”

Around the time the report was passed to President Khama, there was a growing rivalry inside Khama’s close circle of friends who were fighting for the president’s ear. There is speculation that the false intelligence report was used by the DISS to settle scores. Among those who were on the wrong side of the DISS, were Khama’s confidantes who had links with Chinese contractors.

Soon after this report, President Lt Gen Ian Khama issued a statement that expressing his umbrage with Chinese contractors and threatening to cut them out of government business. Soon thereafter, the DISS through Chitube came up with another report under the heading, “Game of  Cats and Horns”, stating, “” the interview that his Excellency Seretse Khama Ian Khama had that outlines his unsatisfactory (sic) with Chinese contractors sparked a level of fear in the Chinese Syndicate. It was at this point when they started to slow down and rather organized themselves a bit more strategically. We can now safely say it is much more difficult now to break the syndicate than it was a year or two ago.”

The “Game of Cats and Horns” report further states that “the incident with Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela was not just a power tide with government. It was more of a notion of control. In many instances of disruption there are those that benefit from confusion. It is a necessary distraction that allows for certain activities to go on without notice. We are very much aware of the role that Mochudi Police Station has had in allowing certain goods to be smuggled out through the Sikwane Border and this through the loyalty to Kgosi Kgafela.”The report claimed that Kgafela was dealing in rhino horns and that he was linked to Chen, the Chinese kingpin who was first name in “Game of Horns.”

Curiously, at the time the report was compiled, Kgafela’s relationship with the DISS Director General was hostile. In 2011 the Bakgatla paramount Chief had turned in a sworn statement at the Lobatse High Court in which he accused President Ian Khama and Isaac Kgosi of using the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) to steal public funds.

Kgafela, who was expected to prove his allegations in court, had called both Khama and Kgosi to take the stand.

In a no holds barred affidavit, Kgafela stated: “They pretend to protect us, but instead kill other human’s gangster style. Kgosi and Khama are not qualified to advise anybody against anything, let alone matters of national security. The entire legislation that allows them to hide information from the public on the basis that our national security interests demand secrecy is the same loophole that they use to abuse fellow countrymen and steal public funds and property,” he said. Kgafela’s Constitutional application was before Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo.

 

Two years later, Kgafela wrote a letter to the then Minister of Defence Justice and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse wherein he claimed the DISS was plotting to kill him. Kgafela stated: “these matters have formally been reported to the South African government to address, where we have highlighted the names of South African intelligent officers that your DIS has been working with namely (name withheld) and the former ambassador of South Africa to Botswana Mr (name withheld). Our family representatives met with Isaac Kgosi in Johannesburg on 15th May 2013, where they have sought to caution him against the unlawful activities of his organisation and his relentless pursuit of myself.

The DISS false intelligence to President Lt Gen Ian Khama is part of a pattern. Shortly before the 2014 elections, the DISS used Chitube’s false intelligence reports to quash a plan by President Ian Khama and his close circle of advisors to fire Isaac Kgosi.

Chitube was employed in a black propaganda operation to discredit Collins Newman & Co Senior Partner, Parks Tafa, who at the time was Khama’s chief advisor and was believed to be leading the campaign that Kgosi should be fired.

A few days after Tafa was dispatched by the President to inform Kgosi to either resign or be fired, the DISS presented to Khama “an intelligence report compiled by an independent intelligence analyst titled “The plan to disband the BDP”, discrediting Tafa.

The alleged “independent” analyst was Chitube who was part of the DISS disinformation crusade against Tafa. In the report, Chitube insinuated that Tafa was trying to engineer Khama’s fall and to disband the BDP.

Chitube stated that no political party could bring down the BDP. “…it has to be done from within. The ingredients are simple; all that is needed is a lawyer with the President’s trust and an ambitious politician with the media in control plus a chairperson whose teeth have been loosened”.

Chitube suggested that Tafa had set in motion a plan to bring down the BDP by sabotaging the party primary elections. Chitube claimed in the report that Tafa deceived the President into thinking that all was well with the primary elections.

“On the other hand, he had us believing that the President has a wish list that needs to be satisfied with regards to who should make it to Parliament and who should not and subsequently satisfy his choice of Cabinet. To sell this, he needed to handle the BDP from top to bottom,” asserts Chitube.

Sunday Standard has not been able to establish what the President made of the report except that after Tafa reported back to him that Kgosi was refusing to step down, he did not fire the spy boss.

Just as Khama was expected to pull the trigger, he convened his inner circle and delivered a bombshell. “He effectively told us that he had decided not to sack Kgosi. We were dumbfounded,” said a source

Other details surrounding the plan by the BDP inner circle to fire Kgosi cannot be disclosed because they form part of the gag order by the Directorate on Corruption and economic Crime (DCEC) against the Sunday Standard.

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