Lessons from Isaac Kgosi’s fall

Thabo Masokola
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Lessons from Isaac Kgosi’s fall

The rise and inevitable fall from grace of former DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi, can be attributed solely to his handler, former President, Ian Khama. In the fog of power, Khama just lost control of Kgosi. By the time the fog cleared, Kgosi had firmly asserted himself as a centre of power. In a short space of time, Kgosi had evolved from being a centre of power, to being power itself. And all credit to him; Kgosi had power, abundance of power. But unchecked power is an opiate. 

In a while, Kgosi had successfully summersaulted Khama. Instead of being handled, he was the one handling Khama. And the poor Khama just like the rest of the nation became a spectator, watching helplessly as Kgosi embarked on an ambitious endeavour to be god. Kgosi took total control of Khama. He determined what Khama heard and saw. He even determined friends and foes for him. The only thing he left for Khama was showmanship and it was for a reason. Khama was free to go on his beloved rent-a-Messiah shows, where he would dance Polka the rural folks and later quench their thirsty with sweet-aid all in his endeavour to ‘eradicate’ poverty. As really how blankets, diphaphata and soup could be marshalled as strategic instruments of poverty alleviation, remained inexplicable. However, to Kgosi, these roadshows were an important distraction to oversight that Khama ought to have exercised on his trustee.

With no one watching him, ‘Mzico’ as they affectionately call Kgosi, went on overdrive pillaging, foraging and buccaneering the state. The DIS could not have been a more perfect tool for this looting. The DIS served as both an instrument of attrition and accumulation. He deployed it against those he perceived to be blocking his highway to wealth. All nefarious means including blackmail, bribery, extortion or even elimination were deployed and employed against his perceived adversaries. The only safe ones were those willing to ‘toe’ the line of his self-serving agenda. These league of friends were rewarded handsomely and some turned millionaires overnight.

The ongoing raids and revelations have gone to point the extent and nature of unhealthy business relationships between Kgosi and some conmen masquerading as businessmen. The staggering amount of public funds transacted between the DIS and these conmen goes on to prove sense of impunity, entitlement, and greed that prevailed at the time. Khama’s inaction to bring his trustee to account led many to conclude that there were, ‘birds of the same feather.’ Despite all glaring evidence, Khama stood by Kgosi, and the milking of the country continued unabated.

My sincere advice to President Masisi is that, ‘bodiba bo jeleng ngwana wa ga mmago, e re o bo bona, o bo dikologe.’ Intelligence services by default, comes with power, because knowledge is power. It is common cause that the new Director General, Peter Magosi would command substantial power. However, the buck stops with President Masisi and Parliament to bring him into immediate order if they reasonably suspect he is going rogue. Our intelligence services have in the past, failed beyond doubt to keep their secrets secret and have raised legitimate doubts amongst the general public on whether they can be trusted to continue to operate in secrecy with minimal oversight.

Instead of fighting to disable our enemies, our intelligence services were on aggressive crusade to loot. I sincerely hope, Masisi would learn from the mistakes that Khama made with Kgosi and that Brigadier Peter Magosi would learn from Kgosi’s downfall. Friends and foes, permit me to once again repeat Lieutenant General Louis Fisher’s words that “No one has his fate in his hands.”
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