Burglars have broken into the house of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Chairperson, Gomolemo Motswaledi, stealing party information and electronic data, sparking comparisons with the infamous Watergate break-in that brought down former American President Richard Nixon.
Motswaledi described the break in as sophisticated.
The intruders were able to disarm the alarm system, break through the window and ransack the house making away with three lap top computers with confidential BMD files and a Blackberry phone.
Motswaledi told the Sunday Standard that data on the computers was backed up and available elsewhere, but said the loss creates a potential security breach about the party’s membership, financial reports and policy positions.
The electronic data that has been stolen includes personal information about BMD supporters, confidential financial reports and secret internal assessment of the state of the party.
“The laptops contained all the information you would expect me to have as chairman of the party and whoever has access to the information will have a complete picture on the state of the party,” Motswaledi said.
Indications are that, besides the three laptops and Blackberry phone, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Motswaledi’s house. They rummaged through his files and emptied his drawers but left behind valuables like television sets and DVD players.
When the Sunday Standard arrived at the scene, Broadhurst police officers had already left but the whole house had been turned upside down save for the kitchen and bathroom.
Motswaledi told the Sunday Standard that there was an attempted break in at his house sometime last month, but the intruders were apparently scared away by passers-by.
A few minutes after the police left, two cars, a black Toyota Fortuner and a Japanese imported white Corolla (number plates known to the Sunday Standard) believed to belong to security agents were spotted driving around the area, spawning speculations that this may be a Watergate style break in.
Broadhurst Police Station officers who are handling the investigations would not comment on the event. Section leader, Inspector Lorekang, told Sunday Standard that, “I can not divulge such information because it is personal. I cannot divulge whether Mr Motswaledi’s house has been broken into without consulting him first.”
When pressed further that police usually disclose such information without first consulting victims, Inspector Lorekang said. “I cannot discuss that without first getting the go ahead from the Station Commander.”
Broadhurst Station Commander was off duty at the time of going to press.