Umbrella for Democratic Change Vice President Ndaba Gaolathe has sought refuge in a safe house at Gaborone Central following an intelligence tip off that there is a plot to assassinate him.
The UDC high command confirmed to the Sunday Standard this week that they had received a tip off from local intelligence officers who are sympathetic to the party that a team of three hit men from a middle east country known to this paper in currently in the country on an assignment o assassinate the Botswana Movement for Democracy President.
Gaolathe has had to flee from his family house that was used by his late parents to seek refuge at a more secure gated apartment, in Gaborone Central.
It is understood that the Botswana security command is aware of the assassination plot. Mogoditshane Member of Parliament, Sedirwa Kgoroba was recently called for questioning by the Botswana Police Service after hinting that Gaolathe has been fingered for the hit.
This is not the first time that rumours of an assassination plot against Gaolathe have surfaced, but this time the UDC leadership is convinced the intelligence tip-off is credible and has come up with an elaborate plan which includes sharing information with Botswana Government and a selected number of key embassies in Gaborone for assistance, which include identification of the suspected hit men and independent verification of their identities.
Preliminary information has revealed that the three men who are staying in rented house in The Village, in Gaborone Central have a background in security intelligence and are all from a Middle East country with close ties to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS).
Sunday Standard can also confirm that a number of key political leaders including from the ruling party have been kept in the loop by UDC about what the party views as a degeneration of the political climate that if not addressed by all parties could end up creating a climate of targeted killings that are alien to Botswana’s political culture.
According to UDC the party, received information through a tip off from local intelligence and security officers who advised them that while for now the picture is still blurry it was better to take precautions than to be sorry.
“We have no idea about the motives. What we have to be clear about upfront is that these guys are not at the official invitation of Botswana Government, certainly not at a political level,” said a UDC member who talked to Sunday Standard on condition of anonymity.
“Whatever happens to Gaolathe we are almost certain that the political leadership of this country would not have given its blessing to the hit. We believe it would be a result of rogue security and intelligence operatives that now seem to be too independent and too powerful even for their political masters,” he stated.