Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is alleged to have engaged a team of intelligence consultants from De Beers to eavesdrop and subvert opposition campaign strategies, Botswana Guardian is reliably informed.
Intelligence sources say the campaign is motivated by uncertainty over the BDP’s future as a ruling party. Botswana goes to a decisive poll in five weeks’ time with a waning credibility. A highly placed source within the intelligence community revealed that De Beers is determined to assist the BDP retain power and is using its resources to train intelligence officers on subverting opposition strategies.
The source revealed that a handful people within the BDP and government are privy to the secret mission. Top on the list is President Ian Khama, DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi, Assistant Minister, Gloria Somolekae, former Special Branch Director, Tommy Mosinyi and an unidentified businessman. The closely guarded mission comes after an Israeli consultancy firm, Timor Consulting allegedly provided a gloomy intelligence report about the state of the ruling party following a major split that led to the establishment of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). That was in 2011. The recommendations, according to the source included luring defectors back the BDP fold. Dr. Somolekae is said to have been favoured with the report to analyse it. She could not be reached for comment.
De Beers Security Department has a highly effective intelligence arm, which has been contracted to work with Mosinyi. The team is said to collect, analyse and process intelligence about opposition campaign strategies. Recently, Botswana Congress Party and Umbrella for Democratic Change have been complaining that security operatives follow them. BCP councillor for Naledi North is battling for his life at Princes Marina hospital after three assailants questioned him about his party’s’ campaign strategies. “There are five of them,” a source said. Mosinyi has always been considered to be sympathetic to the BDP. He retired in 2007 and President Khama recalled him from retirement to work alongside De Beers’ intelligence team and Timor. He is said to be paid from government payroll, according to those privy to the strategy.
Timor says in its website that it is known for its creative approach and ability to conduct successful political campaigns in challenging environments. Reached for comment, Mosinyi declined to clarify his role at Tsholetsa house. “I don’t think it is important for me to tell you what I am doing at BDP. I do not know what you want to use that information for. If you are really interested in knowing whom I am, go to Botswana Police Service at Special branch may be they will assist you,” he said. Asked about De Beers and Timor consultants, Mosinyi charged: “I am working with all staff at Tsholetsa including the Central Committee. I do not know anything about those people you are talking about,” he said adding that he receives his salary from the BDP. He could not be drawn into discussing how he ended up at Tsholetsa house since he retired at Special Branch in 2007. “Anything that is related to my employer I cannot share it with third party,” said Mosinyi. BDP Executive Secretary, Sechele Sechele hung up when asked about Mosinyi. Subsequent to that, he could not pick several calls from Botswana Guardian and could not respond to two SMSes sent to his phone on Mosinyi, Timor and De Beers.
De Beers Consolidated Mines Communications Manager, Public and Corporate Affairs, Tom Tweedy said he is not aware of De Beers’ involvement in assisting BDP. It is not the first time De Beers has been accused of favouring the BDP and its politicians. Four years ago, Sunday Standard newspaper published a series of exposés detailing De Beers’ secret donations to BDP election campaigns. De Beers is known to have transferred US $ 500, 000 (then P2, 4 million) from a secret Swiss bank account to the BDP bank account at the First National Bank in Gaborone. The newspaper said the money was transferred from an account at Guyerzeller Bank AG in Zurich, Switzerland, to Marine Midland Bank N.A in New York before it was finally credited into the BDP’s account at FNBB Industrial Branch.