The Office of the President has hatched a systematic plan to obstruct an investigation into the allegations of corruption levelled against the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Colonel Isaac Kgosi.
Operation Save Kgosi is an official obstruction into the ongoing investigation by Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) on DIS boss. Colonel Kgosi faces several allegations of impropriety which include corruption, abuse of office and money laundering. The exercise-the first clear indication that President Ian Khama is ready to bite the bullet and stick to his trusted lieutenant-involves spinning Kgosi’s troubles and projecting him as a victim of circumstances.
Botswana Guardian has it on good authority that there are two components to Operation Save Kgosi, which will in the end dwarf efforts made by DCEC in trying to have the DIS boss prosecuted. Kgosi has been making news headlines over allegations of corrupt practices and questionable business dealings. And calls for his sacking have been growing. Contents of the DCEC docket on its investigations against Kgosi were leaked to various media houses. Components to “Operation save Kgosi” include investigating the source of the media leaks. This publication understands that a team of two senior investigators - Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Mathews Maduane and Senior Assistant Commissioner David Mosetse (who is heading the Crime Intelligence Branch at Botswana Police) – have been dispatched and started their work on or around 29th of July 2014. Mosetse is also said to be Colonel Kgosi’s close ally. He is even touted as one of the seasoned and credible officers to replace Colonel Kgosi should the latter be shown the door. Reached for comment, Mosetse said all questions about police work should be addressed to the public relations office. “Call Christopher Mbulawa,” he said, brushing off all efforts from this publication to explain the nature of the phone call. For his part, Maduane said he was not aware of such a committee. The Office of the President through Senior Private Secretary to the President, George Tlhalerwa denied any knowledge of any secret operation to save Kgosi’s image. “I am not aware of the things you are telling me,” said Tlhalerwa. Through the investigations into the leakage, Mosetse and Maduane will access the docket and study its details, including names of DCEC investigators, potential witnesses and DCEC informers. Sources say DCEC investigators are worried that Colonel Kgosi’s friend may compromise the investigations and effectively leak contents of DCEC docket classified as DOC/IF/2011/001166(27).
Kgosi is empowered by the Intelligence and Security Services Act to supervise security agents in other government ministries and departments. Section 5 (c) of the Act empowers the DIS Director General to regulate and coordinate all government ministries, departments or agencies entrusted with any aspect of maintenance of national security. This publication however understands that the other component of official obstruction involves engaging in a serious Public Relations exercise that will project Kgosi as a victim of circumstances. Key players in this operation according to sources are two prominent Gaborone lawyers, Sydney Pilane and Sadique Kebonang. It is nine years after Kebonang questioned Kgosi's credentials in a letter published in Mmegi newspaper and now seen standing in his defense. Former Debswana spokesperson Jacob Sesinyi is said to be leading the public relations drive and has already made veiled attempts to court media houses with offers for an exclusive interview with Colonel Kgosi. Sesinyi is an accredited public relations practitioner of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa, and is regarded as one of the foremost communications experts in Botswana. However, Sesinyi this week dismissed claims that he was engaged by either the OP or Kgosi to clear the latter’s name. “Your sources are misinformed,” he said. The plot allegedly involves using Advocate Pilane-a seasoned lawyer, to nullify DCEC investigations under the pretext that they were not done properly. This claim was however dismissed by Pilane in an interview. “How can you nullify investigations?” he quipped. But curiously Pilane joined Kgosi on the 30th of July in an arranged re-interview of Kgosi by the DCEC. Sources say following the many media stories regarding the DCEC docket, Director Rose Seretse on the 24 of July 2014 decided to handover the docket to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to make a decision on whether to prosecute Kgosi or not. However, Seretse’s efforts were prevented by the Permanent Secretary to the President Eric Molale, who felt that Kgosi should be interviewed a second time. Botswana Guardian can safely reveal that on the 30th of July Kgosi was called for an interview at the DCEC offices, but unlike the first interview which was conducted and recorded on tape, the DIS boss was given a questionnaire to fill in. This publication can also reveal that this time around Kgosi was in the company of Pilane and Kebonang. Pilane told the Botswana Guardian that he together with Kebonang were present at the meeting as legal advisors to Kgosi. “Everyone is entitled to that (legal representation),” said Pilane. Pilane said Kgosi approached Kebonang and that Kebonang approached him (Pilane). According to Pilane the DCEC has put allegations to Kgosi and the latter will respond through a written statement. Pilane however said there is no deadline as to when Kgosi is supposed to submit his response. Molale could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone rang unanswered. Kebonang’s mobile phone was off at press time. For her part, Seretse declined to be drawn into the matter saying she is attending to her ailing husband. “I am home. You can’t call me when I am home. I am attending to my husband,” she purred.