-Fight for DCEC top post behind leakage of Magosi’s prosecution docket -Ag DG Plane, Deputy DG Operations, Israel vying to replace Katholo -Tension at agency dividing officers

Heads are expected to roll at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) following the leakage of files implicating Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Peter Magosi in corrupt practices.

The document in question which was prepared in May last year revealed that Magosi could have abused his office or authority when dealing with a matter affecting China Jiansu International (CJI), a company that had won government tenders.

Government departments would later be directed to terminate tenders with the company and never deal with it as it was a security threat. The investigating team recommended that charges should be preferred against the DIS boss.

Between April and May last year the DIS Special Force led an investigation at the DCEC where the DCEC Director General Tymon Katholo’s office was sealed while he was away on official trip. On the 4th of May 2022 DCEC Spokesperson Lentswe Motshoganetsi issued a statement confirming that DIS came to DCEC Headquarters in Gaborone on an operational (investigation) mission.

He said the said officers sealed the offices of the Director General and DG’s staff officer. Katlholo was then suspended from office on the 2nd of June 2022 and he subsequently launched an application against the DIS in which he made damning revelations that Magosi is being investigated by the DCEC for corruption.

The developments happening behind the scenes at DCEC headquarters are allegedly linked to the fight for the DCEC top post and have led to some senior officials allegedly leaking Magosi’s file.

Sources have revealed that DCEC conducted its own internal investigations and all fingers are pointing at a team associated with Deputy Director General Operations Priscilla Israel who are being accused of leaking the file to the media.

The investigation was launched after Acting Director General Tshepo Pilane was put on the spotlight accused of being responsible for leaking the high-profile docket. Before being appointed acting director general, Pilane was the DCEC Senior Assistant Director- Intelligence.

Sources have revealed that DCEC Deputy Director and her team deliberately leaked Magosi’s file and thereafter tried to implicate acting Director General Pilane, so that he becomes the fall guy and pave way for Israel who will be the most senior in line to assume the position unless the appointing authority opts for someone from outside the agency.

Investigations have allegedly turned up information that suggests that Magosi’s Prosecution Summary Report was given to a certain Gaborone based lawyer who later on shared it with the media.

According to insiders the plan was to try to conceal the trail of how the document was leaked. Israel was transferred to the DCEC from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) where she handled some of the high-profile cases among them the controversial P100 billion case which implicated former President Ian Khama and former DIS boss, Isaac Kgosi.

Katholo revealed in late May last year when he appeared before Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he was never consulted when Israel was transferred to the DCEC. He told the committee that he was not aware as to how his deputy director operations was appointed but was only informed by the Office of the President.

Israel is not new in the law enforcement agencies battle. She has featured in a leaked audio where officials from the DPP, DCEC, DIS clashed on whether to continue with the prosecution of the ‘Butterfly P100 billion’ case.

It remains to be seen what action will be taken against those in the wrong. Israel has always been a favourite to Magosi who enjoys overwhelming support from President Mokgweetsi Masisi who is the appointing authority for the DCEC top post.

DCEC insiders have revealed that the biggest gripe was the fact that Israel was not appointed acting Director General following the suspension of DCEC boss Katholo. It is alleged that the corruption busting agency is divided into two factions with one in support of Israel especially those who have worked with her while at DPP and the other rallying behind Pilane.

According to insiders, this has created a toxic and uneasy relationship among officials and has the potential to jeopardise the agency’s work ethic. DCEC Publication Relations Officer, Lentswe Motshoganetsi declined to be drawn into the matter.

In response to a questionnaire, the Directorate Spokesperson said the issue borders on operational matters of the DCEC hence “I am prohibited by the Corruption and Economic Crime Act from discussing such matters.”

DIS Public Relations Manager Edward Robert had not responded to a questionnaire sent to him, first in December 2022 and to a follow-up made this week.

Pilane was appointed acting Director General following the suspension of Katlholo in June 2022. A letter signed by Acting Permanent Secretary from Botswana Government Communications and Information system John Thomas–

Dipowe said the decision by acting vice President Slumber Tsogwane to suspend Katlholo was necessitated by the fact that in the course of his official duties, he misconducted himself and exhibited behaviour that is incompatible with the conduct of a public officer.

“In this regard, established disciplinary procedures will be followed to the letter,” the letter warned.