Thursday, June 30, 2022

UDC, BCP release parallel statements on Katlholo suspension

The ongoing war between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) became apparent again last week following the suspension of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (D.C.E.C) Director General.

The Office of the President (OP) announced last Thursday June 2nd, 2022 that DCEC Director General had been suspended from office.

Katlholo had on the previous day discussed with the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) actions of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) which activities he said were in contradiction to the Corruption and Economic Crime Act (CECA).

However, instead of responding to the matter as a collective the BCP and UDC have released parallel statements condemning both President Mokgweetsi Masisi and the government.  

“Just like the rest of the nation, Botswana Congress Party is shocked by the suspension of the Director General of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Mr. Tymon Katlholo,” a statement from the BCP, a contracting partner of the UDC reads.

“The suspension by the office of the President comes with promises of disciplinary actions. Curiously, this decision came less than 24 hours after Mr. Katlholo appeared before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Under oath, he reported that his office was investigating over Six Hundred Million Pula (P600million) lost from Government coffers in the past 11 months. He expressed fear that his person could be in danger as a results of the investigations.”
The party references the matter, involving Katlholo, and the DIS in which he accuses the agency of interfering with investigations on senior government officials, including in the intelligence agency itself. “It is our position that the allegations by Mr. Katlholo should be a cause for concern to any serious Government,” the BCP says, adding “We posit that it is in the best interest of the country for the allegations to be tested to their fullness.


The party says President Masisi owes the public an honest account of what could possibly be more urgent of Katlholo’s misconduct, to disregard allegations contained in his affidavit, and further warrant his suspension before they can be tested in court.


“We accordingly call on the President to account and confide to this nation on the latest developments. Anything short of this account would be demonstration of Presidential complicity in cover up of large scale corruption as alleged by Mr. Katlholo,” says the statement, signed by Publicity & Information Secretary Mpho Pheko.
The coalition UDC also released a statement on the same matter saying the OP is being held hostage by the DIS. The coalition says secrets the intelligence agency is holding against the Masisi regime must be too deep that the President is willing to dismiss any civil servant who clashes or attempts to reign in the DIS.

“It is worrying for President Masisi to suspend the Director General of DCEC when the latter has placed a case before the court with some damning Allegations of corruption implicating senior DIS officials.”

The coalition movement says President Masisi should have allowed the courts to finalize and make determination of the matter. “His actions are validating the allegations made by the Director General of DCEC.”

The two parties were at loggerheads recently following a central committee meeting with each party releasing opposing outcomes from the meeting. BCP President Dumelang Saleshando and UDC/Botswana National Front President Duma Boko have not seen eye to eye following the 2019 general elections in which the former performed better than their contracting partners.

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