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Kgosi hits back amidst fresh corruption probe

THALEFANG CHARLES OARABILE MOSIKARE
PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Isaac Kgosi is now free, enjoying the sun and even threatening the political masters that were behind his famous arrest. But on the government front, about five anti-corruption agencies have collaborated on a fresh major corruption probe against him. It is the new Kgosigate that is expected to nab former spy chief and other alleged high profile looters, Mmegi staff writers, THALEFANG CHARLES and OARABILE MOSIKARE report

Former Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Isaac Kgosi has warned that he is coming after his adversaries.

He wants everyone to know that he is now gunning to “topple the political masters that were behind” his famous arrest two weeks ago. In an exclusive interview with Mmegi at his farm in Maboane, Kgosi is daring anyone with evidence of his criminality to bring  it up.

However, on the government front, the new DIS boss, Peter Magosi has disclosed that a huge net of anti -orruption agencies are closing in onto his predecessor. Magosi has disclosed that a fresh major corruption probe is underway and hinting that Kgosi’s current situation is just the calm before the storm.

 

My arrest was politically motivated

Although Kgosi is still bitter about his arrest, he speaks civilly about his successor Magosi saying the new boss was “sent by his political masters”.

Although he refuses to name the “political masters” behind the arrest, Kgosi says he has evidence that Magosi was sent out to embarrass him. Kgosi says he was bemused at his arrest because it is unprocedural for a citizen to be arrested for tax evasion saying there are other citizens who owe the taxman hundreds of millions of Pula.

Kgosi also said that he was not procedurally warned and cautioned about his rights when he got arrested at the airport.

During the arrest, Kgosi loudly made chilling threats to the government. He said, “You guys are driving me to do things I never thought I will do. I’m telling you. I am going to topple the government, I’m telling you. I worked for this f*k*ng government for so long. But o tla o dira mas*p*. For so long! I have never been a criminal”.

At his farm this week, Kgosi cleared the statements saying he meant that he was joining politics.

“I have been behaving as a professional and not engaging in petty talk like politics. That’s what I meant. I am going to join politics because I see that it is political war. I am going to join politics and topple the government. I have not yet decided. I will either go to the opposition or fight for office in the BDP. Those in power, we will meet at the elections,” said Kgosi.

 

Finding Kgosi

After his arrest ,Kgosi has been lying low and attending to his backache. Mmegi team tracked him down to his so called “lavish fortress farm” near Maboane on a fact-finding mission and to hear what the former spy chief’s next move is, now that he is a free man.

Located 50 kilometres from Letlhakeng in Kweneng District, Maboane is in the middle of the desert. Even in this middle of the rainy season, the place looks dry, dull and inhabitable.

So why would anyone, let alone the former intelligence chief, who hails from the fertile soils in the north east, choose such a place for a farm? On a dirt road driving to Kgosi’s farm, one is immediately greeted by developments that suggests that there is something peculiar about this place.

About a kilometre from the Morwamosu-Letlhakeng Highway, there is huge water reservoir station that belongs to Debswana’s Jwaneng Mine. Apparently, the mine which is about 60km south west of Maboane, has identified the area as a rich source of underground water and drilled a number of boreholes around to tap the water.

Kgosi says it is this plentiful underground water that attracted him to this desert to set up his ‘farm’ in the area. He however contests the “farm” description of the place saying it is just a “moraka”.

 

What’s inside Kgosi’s so called ‘Moraka’?

According to Kgosi, the property is eight by eight hectares. It is fenced with normal mesh wire. There is a two-and-half house that he says he built for himself so that he would “not fear coming here often”.

The compound has a staff house where his workers stay. There is a small garden, a poultry run with chickens and guinea fowls and reservoir that collects water from the electric borehole inside the compound. The whole place is powered by a diesel generator, not the BPC electricity as was reported elsewhere.

Outside there are kraals for his cattle and small stock. “Kraal sites are not allocated by government as you might be aware, as long as they are near your compound,” said Kgosi as he led Mmegi team on

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a tour of the place.

Walking painstakingly with one hand holding his aching back that he has been complaining about since the fateful arrest, Kgosi joked about what has been reported about his farm.

“Ke gone ha go tweng ke lavish fortress ha. Show me CCTV cameras and DIS security fence that I am accused of using,” he said.

The kraals are built with brick force wire mesh sheets together with steel poles.  Inside the kraals are highly sought-after pure breeds of Simmental, Brahman and Charolais cattle.

So these are Richard Miles’s beasts that he gifted you with? Kgosi gives a lengthy response on how he acquired cattle from Miles who used to win lucrative contracts from the DIS when Kgosi was the boss. Miles’ company, AfricIntel was in 2010 awarded a tender worth P100 million to train the DIS agents.

“Before I approached him [Miles], I sought consent from Office of the President saying I want to do personal business with this man, who used to do some work with the DIS. I got a consent [from Carter Morupisi - PSP] and did a contract with Miles to acquire Charolais from him,” said Kgosi.

Pressed further on whether he did not think his deal with Miles would be a conflict of interest, Kgosi defended it saying, “If there is conflict of interest, you must declare and I did and asked for permission that was granted.

“For instance, where does government buy vehicles? They buy vehicles from Motor Centre and others. And the same government officials buy their personal vehicle from Motor Centre. Is it wrong?” he questioned.

 

Debswana borehole near Kgosi’s property

Located adjacent to his small stock kraals is one of the Jwaneng Mine boreholes. It is Borehole number F2 powered by 200kv electric transformer and secured with CCTV cameras together with razor wire fences. Mmegi confirmed that the borehole does not have any connection with Kgosi’s property.

During the Mmegi team’s inspection, a team of technicians from BPC arrived on a similar mission to inspect whether indeed Kgosi had connected onto their power grid. The BPC technicians told Kgosi that, “they have been sent by Head Office in Gaborone to verify newspaper reports about the supposed power connection”.

Although the men confirmed to Kgosi that the power grid does not belong to BPC, the former DIS boss gave them permission to enter his yard to satisfy themselves on whether he had any illegal connection the power grid. 

 

Fresh major corruption probe against Kgosi

As calm, cool and collected as Magosi is, the new DIS boss is at the centre of a major corruption probe against “Kgosi and others” that is expected to shake many, Mmegi has learnt.

Five agencies, DIS, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, Botswana Police Service, Botswana Unified Revenue Service , and the Financial Intelligence Agency have instituted a major corruption investigation that is likely to send a strong message against white-collar crime in Botswana. Magosi said President Mokgweetsi Masisi has given him a clear mandate with top priority issues, which are corruption and stock theft, and now it is time to deliver.

“When I joined [the DIS], I was told by my team, that there are many cases, tsa ga Kgosi, nothing is moving. A decision was made that let’s leave the ones before the DPP because we do not see things moving. Let’s look at the tax part, let’s look at the lifestyle audit.”

Responding to why Kgosi was uniquely arrested for tax evasion, Magosi said, “There are certain things that for now I would not want to expose, that are known by him and I, that compelled us to use that approach”.

The DIS boss said they duly warned and cautioned Kgosi during the arrest even though Kgosi said he never heard it. Magosi says his predecessor must have missed it due to the shock of the arrest.

The DIS boss also said that from government law enforcement agencies they do not take Kgosi’s statements lightly. Magosi does not rule out an investigation on the matter.

The DIS boss has also revealed that the search parties that were snooping through various Kgosi properties have seized some documents that are crucial for the investigation.

“There were other things that I decided not to take, that could implicate him,” said Magosi.

Pressed for clarification, Magosi said they are now aware of the fact that Kgosi is in possession of some of government property.



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