In an astonishing twist to Botswana's ongoing governance saga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Botlhale Makgekgenene, has been appointed Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).Makgekgenene is at the centre of a storm of corruption allegations at the ministry. Her appointment presents a stark contradiction in terms of ethics and could raise significant concerns about the future direction of the DCEC - an agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting corruption.According to one of the reports made to DCEC and seen by this publication, Makgekgenene is accused of instances where the applicable regulations and laws were breached in the ministry.The Permanent Secretary is said to have acted in breach of the law and abused her powers, where a massive project is being given to a select few.The report indicates that “the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence failed to uphold the Economic Inclusion Act objectives. In this selection process however, no approval was acquired from Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA).“The accounting officer does not have the authority to sanction inviting a non-registered contractor for a selective tender as this was not a micro procurement nor an informal sector procurement.“The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence acted in breach of the law and abused her powers, possibly for monetary gain,” reads one of the whistle-blower’s reports filed with DCEC against Makgekgenene, seen by Botswana Guardian.It is yet to be seen if she will be able to stand the heat from the DCEC-turned rival Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) when it comes to investigating corruption cases involving those in high-ranking positions.Court records have shown that the DIS has encroached on the mandate of other agencies especially the DCEC notwithstanding the fact that it has a Memorandum of Understanding with other law enforcement agencies on how to operate.Former DCEC Director Tymon Katholo revealed in court papers and before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that the DIS has on several occasions encroached on the DCEC turf.Makgekgenene comes to office when critical cases of corruption are gathering dust at the corruption busting agency. While she has a mammoth task of cracking these cases, she arrives at the time when there has beentensions which had pitted then Acting Director General Tshepo Pilane against his Deputy for Operations Priscilla Israel.Israel is said to have been promised the position hence her move from Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) where she led the prosecution of the controversial Butterfly case which implicated former President Ian Khama and former DIS boss, Isaac Kgosi.Makgekgenene is taking over from Ngadzi Festus Matshameko who was acting from August 2023 to 1st September 2023. Matshameko is DCEC head of investigations, while Pilane is head of intelligence.There are fears that Makgekgenene might have been parachuted to safeguard the interest of those in top political and civil service leadership. There are cases such as the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) tender in which engineers have been charged with corruption that are said to have a potential to implicate the country’s top brass.News in the DCEC corridors is that the two engineers that have been charged are just small fish while the real culprits are being covered against the investigators.A recent exposé laden with alarming revelations in which Makgekgenene was the accounting officer, has thrust the Ministry of Defence into the limelight of scrutiny, questioning its financial management and ethical standing.Central to these revelations are a series of tender irregularities casting doubts on the ministry's procurement processes. The allegations, if validated, highlight a deep-rooted nexus of corruption that potentially reaches the highest levels of governmental operations.A source within the government enclave observed of Makgekgenene’s appointment: “One cannot help but speculate- Is this a strategic move to install a potential weak link at the helm of the DCEC to impede investigations?“A compromised leadership could be a potential recipe for curtailed investigations, hindered prosecutions, and a perceived protection for those in power”.A government's credibility and strength are rooted in its ability to make decisions that are not only legally compliant but also ethically sound.Another source at DCEC argued, “what is of concern right now is that the independence, integrity and public confidence in the directorate is at all-time low.“This is because under the current President or for six years, four people have held the substantive office of DG either full time or two on acting capacity, average one DG per annum; Bruno Paledi, Joseph Mathambo, Tymon Katlholo, Tshepho Pilane, Festus Matshamenko and now Botlhale Makgekgenene. If Makgekgenene asserts her operational independence, she is going to suffer the same fate as Katlholo.”The pivotal question that remains is, can the citizens of Botswana trust their anti-corruption agency under such leadership? Will the DCEC, under this regime, be capable of impartially and thoroughly investigating the sprawling web of accusations against the Ministry of Defence and others, without fear or favour?The source further added, “I am of the view that the President should only appoint the Director General and his or her deputy based on the recommendation of an independent DCEC Board which must be established”.The source said there has to be a sense of transparency and fairness in the process and to remove any sense of control, real or imagined, that the now singular power of the President to appoint these personnel may have over the Directorate, the DG must account not to the President but to the Board and a Committee of Parliament.The trajectory Botswana takes in addressing these issues will be a testament to its commitment to good governance, transparency, and the rule of law.As the nation watches, it remains to be seen if this chapter will herald a genuine crackdown on corruption or if it will be just another episode in a continuing saga of dwindling public trust.