You can run but you cannot hide, this is the stern message from the country’s Chief Spy, Brigadier Peter Magosi (r) as he unveils his plan to crack down purveyors of high level corruption. Speaking to Botswana Guardian in a wide-ranging interview Magosi disabused public perceptions that his organisation is a toothless dog that only goes after the small fish.
Magosi said people should know that whatever has been done and swept under the carpet, come one day the truth will come out. “If you have committed a crime or done something wrong then you must be brought to book and answer for it. I will keep on investigating any allegation and where there is reasonable evidence to justify that one has committed a crime, such a person has to face the law”.
He said even in the DIS they have already built enough evidence that suggests there is a prima facie case against one officer. He will appear before the court soon. In the same breadth if any person in a security agency commits crime, say in Botswana Police or DCEC, he will call the Commissioner or Director General instructing them to take action against such officers. If this fails, Magosi will take action against them because, “I do not want us to be seen to be above the law”.
Magosi said his organisation is currently in the middle of investigating many cases. But, it is still premature to discuss them with third parties. “I do not want to discuss even those that I am about to close up. But a lot is happening and what I can say is that the clock is ticking and, or time is getting quite near for many wrongdoers to be taken to court. “I will not go into details, but we are on a lot of cases which shows many are in the wrong”.
Samson Moyo Guma
Did security agencies fail to protect Member of Palrliament for Tati East, Samson Moyo Guma who has fled the country for fear of being assassinated? Magosi retorts with a rhetorical question, “Do you believe Guma. Do you know him very well”? Asked if he knows Guma’s whereabouts, he says, “Yes I know that Guma is in Sandton, South Africa. I will tell you the bottom line is Guma is lying. He went to South Africa because he was afraid that BURS was closing up in him. Now let us all wait and see if he will never come back, if he does you journalists should interview him”.
Magosi supported his premise by showing us a series of his cellphone communication with Guma. “I am trying to show you that this is a man that talks to me everyday or regularly”. In one of the messages Guma says to Magosi, ‘’Sir Guma is my name the conspiracy theory about me working with former President Ian Khama is alive and thick. It is not true; rumour mongering and lying to the leadership were bringing instability in our society, and please assist in ensuring what reaches His Excellency has been properly vetted, he has noble ideas to take this country forward”. Magosi replied: “Good evening my dear brother, I am in Zambia and we will be arriving on Friday.
I have actually prepared the ground over the weekend in Gantsi, my ultimate interest is for you to meet and talk about it, thanks and we will keep in touch”. Magosi also showed us a WhatsApp message from Guma which he says bothered him the most. The message in question was about former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi and was written on 17 September 2018. It reads, “Evening sir, I met Kgosi at his request, he says he is targeted for assassination by the state, I humbly ask you to investigate and protect him”.
Magosi’s response written on 18th September 2018 was “Hi my brother, he is my brother and will always stay my brother.
Professional differences do not mean I can allow such a thing to happen to him. Please tell him that I give him assurance of safety. Thank you my brother’. “I am doing all these things to show you that I am terribly disappointed about what Guma has done but I know he was just talking politics”. Magosi said that all along Guma has been communicating with him and in fact it is not only Guma, “I communicate a lot with all politicians. “It is my job to make sure that where I think you are doing something wrong, I should talk to you. “What I had done is to instigate an investigation whereby we see a white elephant of a cooking oil factory in Francistown which belongs or is owned by Moyo Guma.
“In this company P30 million had gone down the drain. Do you expect me to sit and watch? No I could not because this is the money that could be used by another Motswana elsewhere. “I instigated an investigation on that and when it took direction I do investigation to a certain level and then give it to DCEC to continue with the investigation.” Said Magosi, “Whilst still there, it became evidently clear that Guma owes a lot of tax. I have never met with Guma over the issue of tax. I did my investigation through my officers who did this at the level to get the facts and forwarded them to DCEC.
“Although it is unusual to talk about our operations, I have to do so specifically about this particular operation so that the nation understands that the image of this organisation will stay cordial or good at all times and we will prove our case if we have to”. Guma was summoned by DCEC and BURS who investigated him on tax related issues. Getting emotional, Mogosi asked, “what reason do I have to get this guy murdered you tell me?
“I am not crazy, Guma knows that. I was in Serowe one evening when this issue appeared on the news and I called him. I knew he will not answer, but I did not give up. I subsequently sent him the article written about his life allegedly being in danger and that he has gone into hiding.
“I do not have a problem when someone tells lies about me. But when you attack my people, I will never take it lightly and I will defend them at all costs. “This is why I took the trouble to make a rebuttal that Guma is lying because he is killing the very same people that I am trying to build. “I am trying to make a better image of this organisation in order to win the public image. Guma is looking at his own safety using us, so I get emotional about it because it really gets me mad”.