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Magosi faces corruption probe

Spy chief Magosi and corruption-busting agency boss Mathambo at Regional Magistrate's court recently. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
It is a matter of time before the camera loving Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Peter Magosi appears in dock as an accused person.

The turn of events is according to highly-placed sources at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). It is alleged that the corruption-busting agency has completed its investigations on Magosi for alleged abuse of office. The case involves the controversial China Jiangsu International (CJI) and government.

Last month, Lobatse High Court judge, Jennifer Dube threw out evidence of the spy chief, involving CJI, government and another Chinese company, Zhengtai Group Botswana.

Magosi’s evidence led to the cancellation of the tender amidst allegations of security threats. Whilst the Judge ruled in favour of government in the matter, Justice Dube punched holes into the evidence submitted by Magosi, which led to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) awarding the construction of Moshupa Primary Hospital tender to Zhengtai Group Botswana. 

Her view was that the evidence was scandalous, vexatious and irrelevant to the court proceedings. Magosi had deposed a supporting affidavit stating that CJI was being investigated for corrupt practices but could not share the details of such investigations saying it was classified information.

He has also been quoted on several occasions saying he has classified information relating to dealings of CJI, which led to the company’s blacklisting as a security threat to Botswana. However, Dube stated that the information from DIS advising the procuring entities not to conduct business with CJI could not be admissible in court because it was introduced outside the procurement process.

She further said while she acknowledged that DIS’s mandate was to investigate cases involving corruption, and that its Director may advise or give directions as a consequence of his findings, his evidence has not put the court in his confidence regarding the said allegations, nor was the DIS a party to proceedings so that the court could get more details on the matter, whether in camera or otherwise.

After the devastating blow by the court, it is alleged that DCEC paid Magosi a visit so that he explains his evidence that was dismissed but he did not have answers.  “The DCEC asked Magosi for proof that indeed CJI is national security threat since the courts said his letter does not have evidence and should be struck off,

Magosi is said to have failed to provide the answers. His failure made the DCEC conclude that he abused his office in order to punish China Jiangsu for ulterior motives,” said an impeccable source. 

Another source claimed that Magosi was using his immense influence to push out China Jiangsu and other prominent Batswana owned construction companies  from business in favour of Zhengtai Group Botswana and another company known to this publication.

It is alleged that Magosi wants all the Batswana-owned construction companies under corruption investigations to depose affidavits to the effect that former spy chief Isaac Kgosi “once helped them to corruptly win government tenders”. “Our bank accounts are frozen because of Magosi’s malicious investigations.

It is difficult to conduct business under this environment,” said a construction mogul. It is also alleged that Magosi also employed former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) who were medically discharged from work. He also reemployed a certain female spy who was discharged from DIS after appearing and being found guilty by a disciplinary board.

This woman never appealed her dismissal and upon her reemployment she was hired at D3 scale when on dismissal she was at D4.

“It is also alleged that he took operations fund and bought a suit when he lost his bag during the Angolan trip. His bag has been found. Apparently, he recently bought a farm for P1, 5 million in Gantsi and one wonders where he got the funds from,” said the source close to the investigations.

Contacted for comment, DCEC Director General Joseph Mathambo said he was attending a workshop and would return Mmegi’s calls when he finds time but he never did.

Meanwhile China Jiangsu has slapped DIS with P60 million lawsuit for damages and wants the spy agency to publicly retract the letter they wrote to the government department and state-owned companies that they must desist from doing business with the company as it is involved in massive corruption and as such was a national security threat.

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