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Gov't withdraws Khama's COVID-19 permit

STAFF WRITER
Khama dishing scones and soup to Francistown East elders PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Government has revoked the travel permit it has issued to former president, Ian Khama in April 2020 at the instance of the Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi.

Explaining the matter, Khama said he was issued with a permit for April 14 to April 21, 2020.

“As I did not know whether I would get one to do charity work I used the time to order items. There were delays because of the lockdown with deliveries. So an extension was applied for and given and then withdrawn,” Khama said.

He stated that then one of the persons involved in processing the first approved permit was confronted and questioned at length by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agents about why they had given him (Khama) the permit for charitable work.

“For me, it is not so much the issue of the second permit being withdrawn but rather why was someone harassed and treated as a criminal for trying to assist me to help the vulnerable during this pandemic. In South Africa, the government has allowed others to distribute food like the Red Cross, Gift of the Givers, the national rugby team captain to mention a few. The State cannot do this on their own

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and should welcome help from others,” Khama said.

Although Khama did not want to mention the official who issued him the permit, Mmegi has learnt that attorney Nchunga Nchunga was the approving official.

Nchunga is a deputy secretary (Justice) in the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security. A source close to Nchunga said on the fateful day, Nchunga arrived from a three hours “aggressive intensive interrogation ceremony”.

“He had to answer 200 questions why he issued a permit to former president Khama and his team to go and distribute food hampers to hungry Batswana,” the source said.

It is also alleged that Magosi was furious why Nchunga issued the permit to Khama and instructed that it be withdrawn.

Reached for comment Nchunga said: “I have taken legal advise and wish to respond as follows: I do confirm that I am still at work. I am not under suspension.

I am unable to comment on the other issues you raised”.

Efforts to reach Magosi were futile as he did not take phone calls nor respond to messages left for him.



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