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Magosi’s DCEC troubles detailed

Publishing Date : 07 October, 2019


High profile investigative officers at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have written a letter in which they complain about the interference of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) on the operations of the DCEC.

The letter, that has been seen by this publication, and yet to reach Ombudsman details the frustrations of investigating officers and make allegations against the Director Generals. The officers complain that they have lost their independence to the DIS Director General and in some instances the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Director General. They complain that their Director General, Brigadier Joseph Mathambo gets operational direction, especially on high profile investigations from the two DGs at FIA and DIS.

In the letter, they complain that in terms of the DCEC Act and the international best practices, investigations must remain confidential and not communicated to any unauthorized persons. They allege that in their case, the DIS chief, Magosi dictates to their DG Mathambo on who to investigate and who not to investigate. Because of this, some reports are not authorized for investigations and if authorized, the investigations are being frustrated and investigating officers victimised.

They state in the letter that when he first addressed them after his appointment, Mathambo told them that he was appointed by DIS DG Peter Magosi and President Mokgweetsi Masisi and he has to serve their interests.  The officers say that they are inundated with reports against the DIS DG but because of his close relationship with their DG, they are scared of forwarding the reports for classification to investigate.

The officers complain that they were investigating their DG and his wife who was working at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) for corruption and also for insurance fraud but they don't know what happened to his files after the departure of Bruno Paledi. They also complain that they have been investigating the DIS DG Magosi but they don't know what happened to his files after the appointment of Joseph Mathambo. Magosi’s investigations involved his time at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). At the time when the DCEC was investigating this case, the DCEC DG was an Inspector General at the BDF doing audits, it is alleged that he was already close to the DIS DG at the time.

In the same letter, they also allege that DIS DG is reported to have been offered millions of Pula by China Zhengtai in order to use his office to influence the award of the Maun infrastructure tender as well as the Moshupa hospital and award it to them.  Magosi is also again, investigated for abuse of office. He is alleged to have influenced the transfer of former Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Chair Bridget John.

She was questioning some of Magosi’s interference in procurement matters including the procurement of equipment from Switzerland, which he said was going to be used in the coming general election. This request was approved after the transfer of Bridget John from PPADB to Ministry of Basic Education as Permanent Secretary.  It is said that although he said this equipment was needed to deter the rigging of the election, there is no proof that this decision was preceded by any threat assessment by either the DIS, Police or BDF. It is said that he claimed to have consulted President Masisi before he decided on the matter.

Magosi is also being investigated for his influence on the transfer of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Developments Thatayaone Dedede. This is because he held a different view on the cancellation of the Maun Infrastructure and the North/ South water carrier project. Just like John and PS Dedede, Magosi’s Directors have been questioning his employment methods at DIS, where he is alleged to have employed close associates without following government procedure or at very least the DIS employment policy. Some have been transferred willy-nilly, this he does under the pretext that they are loyal to the former DIS chief, Col Isaac Kgosi.

The DCEC officers are again complaining that  they have been investigating the FIA DG, Dr. Abraham Sethibe for allegations that he received some inducements from some contractors who are building his head office. Other allegations against Sethibe is that of abuse of office and nepotism that resulted in Botswana being grey listed by Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Some officers who he favours were assigned to do certain assignments that will fulfil the requirements of FATF but they failed to do the assignments until the last minute before Botswana went for assessment.

The government and the nation was never told what necessitated this grey listing because almost all the legislations that were required were enacted. They say they don't know what happened to his files after the appointment of their DG. They say all this is because these DGs are directly involved in the operations of the DCEC.  

They write in the letter that Magosi gave the DCEC Mathambo a pistol and a vehicle and these are some of the reasons that compels him to return the favour of not pursuing his cases. By issuing Mathambo with a pistol, Magosi is doing the direct opposite of what the President directed against after his inauguration that all weapons of war that were used by the Wildlife Department must be withdrawn because he felt that it was unlawful for them to use such weapons. This is an unlawful favour by Magosi to Mathambo, they say.  

Because of this relationship, Mathambo is said to be advising Magosi on every detail of the investigation progress on the allegations that he unfairly favoured China Zhengtai. They say Magosi knows who reported the case, the investigating officers and witnesses.
Magosi also directed his Finance Director to give him P 50 000 to two (known) officers to spend at Khawa Dune Challenge. He disregarded the Finance Director's advice that P50 000 was too much to be spent at Khawa on a weekend, because there are no hotels and restaurants. The finance lady also, told him that other officers who went to Khawa, including the President’s Protection Officers did not get anything close to that.  

Magosi is also accused of hiring a certain lady (names known to this publication), a former magistrate at Mahalapye. The same lady is said to have been instrumental in getting a warrant of arrest for the former DG Isaac Kgosi at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport earlier this year. At the time of her employment the lady was at C1 scale and Magosi promoted her to a D2 scale, this arose suspicion that there was favouritism involved.

He is also alleged to have directed her Finance Director to reimburse him for the money that he spent buying five suits for himself when he was on a trip to the US. He rebuked the Finance Director when she told him that he cannot be reimbursed for buying his own clothes. It is alleged that these are just some of the reasons why he is transferring the Finance Director and her colleagues. Responding to the reports yesterday (Friday), DCEC stated in a press release that there is no investigations carried out on DIS chief by DCEC.

“The DCEC reiterates that it has not received an allegation against the DISS, Director General Magosi and it is not investigating any matter alleged. We assure the public however that should such allegations materialise that they will be dealt with, without fear or favour,” reads a statement from DCEC. Contacted for comment DIS Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi told WeekendPost that for security reasons he could not discuss the allegations levelled against him with the media or general public.

“The country is currently faced with national crises and my priority is to deal with national issues not hearsays,” said Magosi. The Spy Chief confirmed that he is aware of the allegations and will deal with them when the right time comes. Magosi also said he is allowing Mathambo space to do his job without any hindrance. For his comment DCEC Director General Joseph Mathambo confirmed that indeed DIS boss gave him a vehicle and a pistol, however he could not comment further on whether they are linked to his duties or personal purposes. “I am even holding the gun at the moment as we speak”.

Mathambo also refused to give details on the make of both the vehicle and the pistol saying that will improvise his security. The crime bursting agency boss said he is not aware of any of his officers who are not happy and or planning to report him to the office of the Ombudsman. “Since I came I did not change anything, so I will not know what they are complaining about,” he said.



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