Kgosi's assets under scrutiny

SHARE   |   Monday, 21 May 2018   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
UNDER SCRUTINY; Kgosi UNDER SCRUTINY; Kgosi

As new DIS boss launches forensic audit 

      DISS audit uncovers secret companies used for covert operations

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      Over P5 million petty cash discovered

      Rifles confiscated from Khama's Mosu residence

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      Questions raised over Isaac Kgosi's Phakalane mansion

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      'I have pushed your newspaper sales, leave me alone' – Kgosi

Intelligence experts assigned to conduct an audit on the operations of the controversial Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), immediately after the removal of its head Isaac Kgosi recently, are said to closing in on him.

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The external auditors are said to have already advised the new leadership of the spy agency to secure and recover all immovable assets registered under Kgosi's name. Sources intimate with the spy agency have revealed that DIS has engaged external auditors dealing with intelligence auditing to investigate all the properties that belong to the state but are currently registered under spooks as part of covert operations.

Allegations are that the auditors have already uncovered information showing more than 50 operating companies that have close connections with the DIS. Most of the companies are registered in the names of spy agents and have shareholding in some multinational companies as part of DIS covert operations.

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The intelligence unit is said to own companies mostly operating in IT and Security with most of them owned by Kgosi’s close associates as fronts. One of the security companies is regarded as the best equipped with the latest security technologies and one of the few local companies engaged to transport diamonds for aggregation at Diamond Trading Company. It was started a few years ago with the recruitment of mostly officers from the disciplined forces, among them soldiers and police officers.

Companies that were also mentioned during the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigations include Zebra Shipping which is the sole clearance agency for Government and Silver Shadows, a security company owned by Kgosi. 

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Farms, weapons 

Auditors are said to be investigating the acquisition of two farms, one in Sentlhane Farms adjacent to Mokolodi and another in Gakgatla along Molepolole-Thamaga road. The two farms also make part of the deals investigated by DCEC, and information about them is contained in a docket that is currently gathering dust at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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DIS is also said to own some residential properties in Gaborone which they were using for their operations and new DIS boss – Peter Magosi – wants them handed over.

In yet another massive operation The Patriot on Sunday is reliably informed that security agents from the Special Support Group (SSG) – an arm of Botswana Police Service – have recovered loads of weapons from former President Ian Khama's residence in Mosu.

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Eye witnesses said a consignment containing hundreds of rifles were confiscated and relocated to SSG headquarters in Gaborone on Friday afternoon for safe custody, as the audit on DIS continues. The weapons are said to belong to the DIS, whose deposed Director recently borrowed Khama an aircraft which belongs to the spy organ without authorisation from President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Kgosi is believed to have been fired for the unilateral decision to give Khama the DIS aircraft, which constitutes insubordination, after the former president was denied the use of a Presidential helicopter for personal trips.

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P5m petty cash

 The use of funds by the DIS has raised eyebrows over the years and has been a centre of heated debates even in Parliament. The on-going audit includes all the funds currently held by the spy agency and how it was used, especially the petty cash which is usually used to pay informers. Highly placed sources within the intelligence community have revealed that petty cash amounting to over P5 million was found in DIS safes.

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Since its formation the DIS has been the only Government agency that has managed to exhaust the whole of their allocated budgets without leaving a single Thebe. According to sources with expertise in accounting and auditing, it is impossible to utilise all the funds allocated.

“Under normal circumstances you cannot use all the money in your possession without leaving some change or alternatively have some shortages. But with DISS their budget was very exact and we wonder how they did that. This is a curious development we observed,” said one source.

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To make things difficult for Auditor General, the DIS was never audited since inception but only submitted their budget spending and supplementary requests, which were approved without questions.

In 2017 MP for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe called on Government to establish a specialised audit for DIS and other security organs. Commenting on the supplementary budget for DIS, Gaolathe advised that Government, especially Ministry of Finance, should benchmark internationally to ensure that there was accountability within the DIS without compromising their operations as currently there is no such legal procedure in Botswana to undertake the specialised audit.

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Kgosi declined to comment on the on-going audit when contacted on Friday. He would neither confirm if he is aware of it or if he will return some of the assets in his name to the agency. “Le rekisitse dipampiri tsa lona ka nna; leave me alone (You have sold your newspapers through my name, leave me alone),” he said before hanging up the phone abruptly. When asked by MP for Selibe-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse during his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently on whether DIS owns some companies, Kgosi refused to comment, saying it is an operational issue. Efforts to get comments from the new DIS Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi and his deputy Tefo Kgotlhane were futile as their mobile phones were off air.



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