Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Sunday Standard forces govt to do some fancy footwork on appointment of new DCEC boss

The government did not take kindly to a Sunday Standard story about Assistant Commissioner of Police (non uniform) David Mosetse having been earmarked for the position of Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, with the incumbent, Rose Seretse, being shifted to a new government department.

The story said that Seretse was being redeployed because she was not giving some powerful people a pass for their criminal wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, the government released a statement saying that Seretse was not being pushed out and that “Cabinet has not at this time considered any appointment to replace her”.

Cabinet meets on Wednesday morning and so if it was to consider any appointment to replace Seretse that would have been the following day. However, on the same day, a press statement from the Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi, announced new appointments in the civil service. According to the latter statement, Victor Paledi, formerly of the Botswana Police Service, has been appointed new DCEC DG. This is strange because a few hours earlier, Cabinet – which was to meet the following morning – had not considered any appointment to replace her.

Paledi was recently accused of conniving with DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi to release DIS agents arrested with suspected poached elephant tusks. At the time, Paledi was acting Commissioner of Police. The Sunday Standard reported last week that Mosetse who three years ago was deployed by The Office of the President to head Operation Save Isaac Kgosi would be brought in to lead the DCEC as part of a strategy to kill DISS boss’ corruption case.

The paper reported that as part of an attempt to heal the fractured Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and consolidate Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s position, President Khama’s brother Tshekedi, was roped in to support Masisi and promised the Vice Presidency in return. Tshekedi, on the other hand, insisted that Kgosi be dropped as DISS Director General before Masisi ascends to power. A plan was thus hatched to ensure Kgosi’s safe exit and to protect him from prosecution.

Sunday Standard sources claim that Cabinet was forced to go back on Mosetse’s appointment to the DCEC following the newspaper’s story and that Paledi, who is also believed to be sympathetic to the DIS boss was appointed instead.

This was the second time in a space of two weeks that the government had stepped on its own message. While having initially sought to distance itself from the controversial visit to Botswana by the Dalai Lama, the government later contradicted itself. As questions were asked about the government’s role in facilitating a visit that China is very unhappy about, the Government Communications and Information Service issued a statement to the effect that the government would not extend any courtesies to the Tibetan spiritual leader.

However, that statement was later contracted by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, who stated in Parliament that the state would provide the Dalai Lama with accommodation and security.

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