Saturday, July 4, 2020

MASISI, KHAMA, MOLALE, MAGOSI FACE NPF SUBPOENA DRAGNET

Bakang Seretse’s lawyers in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) plunder are planning a long parade of high profile witnesses including President Mokgweetsi Masisi, former President Lt Gen Ian Khama, Minister Eric Molale, former minister Sadique Kebonang, Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Peter Magosi and former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi.

With a number of the government big-shots expected to slip through Seretse’s subpoena dragnet, his defense is believed to be hoping to gain from missing witnesses’ absence.

Seretse’s defence lawyers are expected to spotlight the absence of witnesses, among them President Masisi who they may argue were the subject of extensive testimony in the marathon case.

In his founding affidavit in the latest application before the Court, Seretse who is a suspect in the National Petroleum Fund plunder states that President Masisi and former President Khama’s administration knew about the contracting of his company Khulaco as the transactional services company with regards to the transaction at the heart of the proceedings instant.

“For this fact, both former President Khama and President Masisi must withstand examination and or cross examination,” states Seretse. According to Seretse former President Khama and the now President Masisi and the former Cabinet were briefed on the procurement by Sadique Kebonang, the then Minister of Minerals, green Technology and Energy Security. “Former President Khama, Eric Molale, the then Minister responsible for the Presidency and the now President Masisi must undergo examination or cross examination,” states Seretse.

Seretse further states that Khama and Masisi were aware of the fact that Khulaco as represented by himself, had been engaged in that regard. “For this former President Khama and the now President Masisi must undergo examination or cross examination,” said Seretse.

He said Kebonang and Isaac Kgosi and the  then Permanent Secretary in his Ministry Dr Obolokile Obakeng were all aware of the charge of 20 percent on the capital amount to be paid upfront by Khulaco and expressly or impliedly accepted the same leading to a legally binding contract between the government and the said company.

“For this former Minister Kebonang and Dr Obolokile Obakeng and Isaac Seabelo Kgosi and their superiors namely President Masisi and Former President Khama, must undergo examination and cross examination,” said Seretse.

Seretse said that that there was a prefeasibility study for the strategic fuel storage reserve involving both the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services and the Ministry of Minerals Green Technology and Energy Security, the people in question should testify in the case.

“For this Isaac Kgosi, Peter Magosi, Sadique Kebonang and their staff at the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services and the Ministry of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security, will have to be subpoenaed and to undergo examination, alternatively cross examination,” said Seretse.

He said that since Kgosi and himself (Seretse) and the Ministry officials met on numerous occasions over the transaction is issue and were all aware that Khulaco had been engaged with regards to transactional services.

“For this, Isaac Kgosi, Bakang Seretse, Kenneth Kerekang,  Peter Magosi and their staff including Mr Khunou, Ms Moipisi will have to be called to be examined or cross examined on that fact,” Seretse said through his lawyers, Ngakaagae and Company.

He said that since Dignia Systems, Israel did deliver as per their contract and that the Directorate on Intelligence and Security did accept the armaments and other assets from the same company, the individuals need to be examined or cross examined.

Seretse stated that Dignia Systems, Obakeng, Kebonang and functionaries of the Botswana Government under the Ministry of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security have not been charged with any criminal offence, let alone subjected to any disciplinary action with regards to the transactions or the procurement contract therefore, hence the former President and the current President have to testify.

Seretse’s bone of contention is that the National Petroleum Fund Committee had carried out numerous other transactions amounting to billions of Pula in the exact same ways as with the questioned transaction to the knowledge of the portfolio ministers Kitso Mokaila, Kebonang and that there was no unilateral acting by Kerekang.

“For this all the members of the National Petroleum Fund Committee, including Ms Kedibinye Mochotlhi, Mr Baruti Regoeng, Dr Obolokile Obakeng, Tshepo Julius Bojelo and Sadique Kebonang must be subpoenaed to be examined and cross examined on the facts,” he said.

He said the head of Financial Intelligence Agency Dr Sethibe former Director of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, Rose Seretse and Bruno Paledi among others were briefed on the transaction by Kebonang.

“That the persons of Ian Khama, former President of the Republic of Botswana and Mokgweetsi Masisi, the incumbent President of the Republic of Botswana, among others were beneficiaries of amounts traceable to the contract payments to Khulaco and that there same were never subjected to investigations, restraint or forfeiture proceedings at the instance of the state,” said Seretse.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.