Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, says President Mokgweetsi Masisi is using State institutions to target political adversaries, both within the ruling party and without.
Responding to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo’s Committee of Supply Speech for both Recurrent and Economic Development yesterday, Keorapetse explained that as opposition they did not believe President Masisi was serious about eliminating corruption when he himself was corrupt.
“Many celebrated the arrest of the former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) director general, Colonel Isaac Kgosi as a big sign that President Masisi’s administration was hellbent against corruption. Some also pointed to the current prosecution of the former Minister of minerals, the High Court judge, the former director of Energy and directors of assets management firms as evidence that there was zero tolerance to corruption.
However, we do not think this President is serious about fighting corruption,” he said.
He reasoned that Masisi works with the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi who is under investigation for corruption and whose property has been impounded by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) .
Keaorapetse also argued that Masisi works with ministers who are under investigation by the DCEC. He added that he (Masisi) was implicated in both Capital Management Botswana (CMB) and the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) corruption scandals.
He added that there were also allegations that Masisi had been assisted to open a business, which is run by proxies, and he was generally perceived to be a captive of people of Indian origin. Keorapetse also pointed out that the President remained silent about the abuse of office by Morupisi, who he said was wasting public resources through a foundation.
Because of that, Keorapetse said he did not think that Masisi was serious about corruption.
He also added that they believed that because the DCEC has completed investigations in numerous cases, those cases should be prosecuted.“We doubt Honourable Chief Whip, that the DPP will prosecute former director general of DIS because even President Masisi knows that this former director general knows where dead bodies are buried.
He knows whom and how the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was financed in 2009 and 2014 at least. He knows who stole what, when and how in the administration. He knows a few deep and dark secrets, which he may reveal if he is betrayed by the very ruling party that he protected,” he said.
He emphasised that if President Masisi were really serious about corruption and economic crimes, cases at Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Botswana Railways (BR), Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and DIS should be prosecuted without any further delay. The MP added that some of those cases were as old as seven years, but were not reaching the courts because some ministers and senior officials loyal to Masisi were implicated in them.
He also said they were worried about the posture of Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS), DCEC and some other law enforcement agencies, which exhibited signs of political influence. In fact, Keorapetse noted that the former president stated unequivocally in Serowe that the DIS was used to persecute some within the ruling party and that they have been sent to target certain individuals.
“The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) government will formulate, codify an Anti-Corruption Policy and revamp the country’s anti-graft strategy through law reform. Particular attention will be given to laws on insider trading, trading in influence, conflict of interest, whistleblowing, targeted lifestyle audits, corporate governance, public funding of political parties and campaign funding, freedom of information and other related laws.”
“We will present a Private Bill in this House to try and make the DCEC more independent and accountable to Parliament. UDC will strengthen democratic oversight mechanisms in institutions such as the Auditor-General. The current practice where the Auditor-General is hired on contract, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution that the Auditor-General ought to have tenurial security, will come to an end,” he sternly stated.