In a desperate bid to redeem its bruised integrity, the State has allegedly launched fresh investigations into the P100 billion looting case and the suspected leaking of information of purchased armoured vehicles for President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
This is not the first time the DIS had embarked on the interrogation of some of its officers on the matter as the agency allegedly decided to revisit the matter following the State’s successive losses in high profile corruption cases before the courts of law. Similar action has been taken before on DIS officials.
A few months ago, there were concerns that the DIS sleuths allied to both former president Ian Khama and the deposed ex-DIS head Isaac Kgosi were allegedly leaking classified information to their former bosses, although there was no proof to such allegations.
When the investigation started, it led to four officers being suspended from duty pending disciplinary hearings, which never occurred. It is said that the number of officers who are being questioned has grown as the powers that be are in desperate need of answers.
According to different sources within the organisation, the officers were taken to DIS Sebele office for interrogation. It is alleged that P11 million was used to purchase presidential armoured vehicles. Other interrogations and detentions were reportedly carried out at Urban and Central police stations, and the DIS office in Block 3. “Some of the employees were detained for one to two days at our different offices for questioning. Family members of the concerned members ended up coming to our offices to check on the whereabouts of their relatives. Some who were taken for questioning have now gone back to work. DIS wants to know the person(s) who had leaked information to the media,” the source said. Another source said yet another investigation has started against former DIS agent Welheminah 'Butterfly' Maswabi and, “the DIS wants to coerce some of the employees to write false statements pinning Butterfly”.
DIS spokesperson, Edward Robert yesterday could not confirm nor deny the allegations when quizzed by Mmegi. “I am not at liberty to discuss these issues with the media,” he said.
“These are internal matters. I am not at liberty to discuss with the media. However, I can assure your readers that the DIS being a creature of the statutes cannot do anything outside the boundaries of the law.” The DIS has reportedly decided to engage independent investigators to pursue senior officers who allegedly leaked information on the P11 million purchase of presidential armoured vehicles.
Mmegi has established that independent investigators were sought after a disciplinary board set up for the four officers flopped recently. It emerged that no one within the board was capacitated to investigate the deputy director-general operations, who is one of the suspects.
The four senior officials, who also include the director of transport and two procurement officers, are reportedly each facing a single count of divulging classified information. The DIS is allegedly worried that the alleged actions compromised national security.
The purchase of the armoured vehicles has outraged many Batswana who say it is an untimely and unnecessary expenditure as the country is scrambling for funds to fight COVID-19.
According to inside sources, the suspects are allegedly responsible for procuring the armoured cars and had information even about their arrival in the country from the manufacturer earlier this year. Botswana is the third country in Southern Africa to buy luxurious vehicles.
This week, media reports also suggested that the DIS deputy director-general, who allegedly is not seeing eye-to-eye with the DIS director-general, Peter Magosi has been detained.
It is reported that his superiors are unhappy that the country’s top secrets are not protected, while the recent court losses have dented the presidency’s image.