Instigators planted in 22 constituencies
Had planned to cause protests, violence
Intelligence unearthed plot; Masisi cancels primaries
Intelligence information provided to President Mokgweetsi Masisi by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi might have saved the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from possible splitting and bloodshed.
Highly placed sources have revealed that President Masisi was given an intelligence briefing which showed possible voter fraud and planting of instigators during the BDP primaries and advised that they cancel the primaries with immediate effect.
Not only has the BDP systems been hacked and voters rolls tempered with but the plan also included planting of instigators in some constituencies during the BDP primaries, especially in constituencies deemed strategic.
Those behind the plan, who are alleged to be some high ranking party members working in cahoots with some former intelligence agents, started to work on it around June this year.
BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi was very economic with information when asked if some within the party members were involved in the hacking of the system. He could only confirm that two staff members at Tsholetsa House have been suspended pending investigations.
The two political assistant officers were slapped with suspension on August 2 with one of the condition being that they must not leave Gaborone during working hours without getting permission from the party’s Executive Secretary.
Balopi confirmed that their systems have been hacked and they are currently investigating the issue, having engaged IT experts. He said so far 22 constituencies have raised concerns about the accuracy of their voters’ roll, hence their decision to postpone primary elections indefinitely.
All the party structures as well as parliamentary and council candidates were to meet in Palapye on Saturday (yesterday) to map the way forward.
“We are a ruling party and we want to have credible elections and don’t want to deal with many cases of vote fraud, hence the need to postpone them,” he said.
Highly placed sources say DISS picked intelligence information that there is a deliberate plot to destabilise the party by planting instigators to cause havoc during the counting and announcement of the primary elections results.
“The first plan was to sow seeds of doubt on the party’s capability to hold proper primary elections by adding more people into the voters roll and then the instigators will come on board and then everything will explode into chaos,” revealed the source.
The elaborate plan was allegedly hatched by some within the party that are not happy with Masisi’s presidency and worked in cahoots with some former members of the DISS. The plan was to ensure that that close to Masisi’s faction lose the primary elections, including most of the cabinet ministers.
Some of the constituencies which have been affected include Nata/Gweta, Bobirwa, Serowe North West and North East, Francistown West and East, Okavango, Lerala/Maunatlala, Lobatse, Kanye North and Boteti West.
This is not the first time instigators were used in BDP primaries as it happened in 2013 when a ballot box was kicked in Serowe North East constituency resulting in the re-run of the primaries.
“Those guys are professional and it was clear that every time the BDP system is updated they will come later and fiddle with the voters roll,” revealed a member of the security intelligence.
We will not be distracted – Balopi
Former President Ian Khama has recently started a countrywide tour campaigning for certain candidates, a move that has irked some in the party.
He urged people of Bobirwa to make a proper choice when electing a candidate in the primary elections, accusing area Member of Parliament Shaw Kgathi of undermining him. Kgathi has served under Khama as a minister from Sports portfolio, Presidential affairs to his current position as Minister of Justice, Defence and Security.
In an exclusive interview with the Voice newspaper recently, Khama warned that chances of BDP losing the 2019 elections were very high. Responding to the issue, Balopi avoided mentioning Khama’s name but insisted that they are focused on 2019 and won’t let anything or anyone to distract them. Efforts to get comment from DISS Director General Brigadier Magosi were futile as both his mobile phones were off air.