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Appointment of Magosi, threat to National Security

Publishing Date : 05 November, 2018

Author :

DR KESITEGILE GOBOTSWANG

Last week news broke out that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Chief Brigadier Peter Magosi survived an assignation attempt. If true such criminality must be condemned unreservedly.  However, we must take the revelation with a pinch of salt.  Intelligence community through-out the world is known for spreading false information. In some instances they have triggered wars based on lies as was the case in Iraq resulting in death and massive destruction of property.


The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) with its cronyism and bootlicking culture has created so much chaos and bitterness that we are no longer safe. It has created dangerous factions in our working spaces because it consistently prefers mediocrity and buffoonery over merit. It is a crisis that Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) would reverse instantly.


But what was more shocking is that the DIS has or is in the process of employing John Kalafatis killers. This cannot be accepted. Why would people accused and convicted of such heinous act be hired by a national security agency of integrity unless they are being rewarded for something. Media reports that DIS is hiring Kalafatis killers have not been denied by DIS and government. It is this kind of reports that shows that DIS remains essentially as it was under Isaac Kgosi save for misleading public relations stunts of reform - the same cosmetic stunts we see with President Mokgweetsi  Masisi every day.


If is true that Kalafatis killers have now been hired by the BDP/DIS machinery we demand a full explanation and their immediate dismissal. The DIS reign of terror against our people under Kgosi, former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama and Masisi is intrinsically linked to the governance system of the BDP. Under these three men the DIS became a private tool to wield against personal and political enemies alike.


It violated rights at will and intercepted private communication of innocent citizens as well as phone conversations and emails.  We became an order less society without following the dictates of the law. We at the BCP have long called for fundamental restructuring of DIS that entails enhancing the accountability mechanisms of its operations. In the meantime we reiterate our demand that ALL illegal phone tapping and interceptions of private communications MUST be a thing of the past and cease forthwith.


The appointment of Magosi was not without controversy. Magosi replaced his bitter rival Colonel Seabelo Isaac Kgosi who was expelled by Masisi, a move that was received by the general public with a sense of relief and hope. Masisi appointed Magosi well aware of his tainted past. Magosi is the man who was associated with the brutal killing of John Kalafatis. 


It is therefore not surprising that he could consider recruiting the Kalafatis convicted criminals into the DIS, a decision that has the potential to fuel divisions and conflict in the DIS.  Under such circumstances a violent confrontation cannot be ruled out. The Khama-Masisi government did the unexpected when they took the decision to reinstate the convicted killers of Kalafatis.


Magosi was later fired following the disappearance of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) intelligence surveillance equipment. Interestingly he was investigated together with Sergeant Dzikamani Mothobi. Mothobi who is one of the convicted killers of Kalafatis is reported to be the latest recruit into the DIS under the leadership of Magosi. Criminality appears to follow Magosi wherever he goes. Yet Masisi who claims to be a Rule of Law President sees nothing wrong in appointing a person of Magosi’s character to lead such a security sensitive and strategic institution in the form of the DISS.


It is a well-known fact that Magosi and the former DIS Chief are bitter rivals.  It does not require a rocket scientist to predict the consequences of such a reckless appointment by Masisi. It was an appointment driven by anger and vengeance rooted on BDP chronic factionalism.  The President was seriously ill-advised.


The truth is that Kgosi had established a comprehensive infrastructure to outlive his time in the DISS. It was never going to be ease to dismantle Kgosi’s influence in the organization. It can only be done swiftly at the expense of compromising national security and peace.
It is worth stating that Magosi’s DIS will be operating under a piece of legislation that renders it a law unto itself.  The Rule of Law President Masisi appears to be in no hurry to introduce a law that conforms to international best practice. Specifically, the DIS must be accountable to Parliament.  


In conclusion we want to categorically point out that Masisi made a serious error of judgement in the replacement of Kgosi with his arch-rival in the person of Magosi.  The President must therefore swallow his pride and relief Magosi of his duty forthwith in order to save the little of what is left in respect of the integrity of DIS and end factionalism. If anything untoward happens Masisi shall be held fully accountable.

Kesitegile Gobotswang (PhD) is the BCP Deputy Leader

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