Botswana intelligence this week arrested a British Canadian spy who had been engaged by the Zimbabwean government to investigate human trafficking of Zimbabweans and training camps of MDC insurgents in Botswana.
Andrew Sanderson, who was kicked out of Botswana two years ago, was arrested in Gaborone on Friday while planning to skip the country and meet his handler, Chipo Zindonga, who is the Zimbabwean Ambassador in Namibia.
While in Botswana, Sanderson was in touch with the Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents at the Zimbabwean High Commission and Zindonga in Namibia.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard shortly before he was arrested, Sanderson claimed to have discovered MDC training camps in Botswana and was planning to pass on the information to the Zimbabwean government, which had hired him.
Sanderson had escaped from police custody and claims to have hidden at the Zimbabwean High Commission for a night. He says Zimbabwean envoys in Gaborone then arranged with one of their own who is masquerading as a taxi driver to transport him.
Sanderson, who started his career as an officer in the Canadian army, came to Botswana and worked with the British Council in Gaborone. He comes up in the Internet as a “tech guy” and is believed to have made quite a fortune as the founder and Managing Director of Intertswana, when Botswana’s pioneering Internet Service Provider was bought by UUnet. He squandered his fortunes, left UUnet and became something of an establishment deviant. He would spend most of his time in the murky world of crack houses and brothels in South Africa.
Sanderson who, by his own admission, dabbled in drug trafficking, decided to come clean four years ago and help The Sunday Standard and DNS investigate drug peddling and trafficking of prostitutes in Botswana.
During this time, he was on the DNS payroll and met a number of officers from the Attorney General’s Chambers who promised him indemnity from prosecution if he helped with the investigation and prosecution of Botswana big drug lords.
Somewhere during the course of the investigations the Botswana Defence Force Military Intelligence came into the picture and enticed Sanderson with a bigger paycheck.
A reconstruction of Sanderson’s life as a mole shows that he was an ingenious dealmaker who hatched interlocking deals that exploited the rivalry between the police intelligence and the Botswana Defence Force Military Intelligence and the media’s itch for a scoop.
Sanderson told The Sunday Standard that both the DNS and the military intelligence agreed to let him stay in the country with a passport that had expired because he was helping them with the investigations.
Sanderson’s handler at DNS, Miriam Kilano, admitted that Sanderson was their agent, but says she was not aware that he did not have a passport.
Sanderson was later kicked out of Botswana for staying in the country without a passport, and when he resurfaced in Botswana a few months ago, he was on the payroll of the Zimbabwean government.