Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Officer left in limbo as DIS/Ombudsman clash rages

Three months after she was suspended from duty at the Ombudsman’s office, following instructions from the Directorate on Intelligence and Security, Senior Investigating Officer Mpho Ngwato is still waiting to learn her fate.

Ngwato was suspended from duty when she was investigating a case involving Botswana passports. This apparently irked the DIS, as they felt that Ngwato had no jurisdiction to investigate the case as it was a security issue.

The Ombudsman, Ofentse Lepodisi, had earlier said that he did not know the time frame within which the investigations would be complete. He further added that the officer was suspended but DIS did not specify the contents of their investigations.

While no official report has since been released, Ngwato remains on suspension, albeit on full salary. Indications are that more officers from the Ombudsman might face interdiction as the fight for territory between the DIS and the Ombudsman continues.

Lepodisi said during the interview that there are some issues that his office can not investigate, especially when it comes to security matters. However, he strongly denied that his office was put under pressure to suspend the officer.

“My office is independent, therefore, there is nobody who can order or put me under pressure,” he said.

When contacted by The Sunday Standard on Friday, the Public Relations Officer at the Ombudsman’s office, Emmanuel Letshwiti, said that he was not able to comment on the matter as it was being dealt with administratively, not with through the media.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.