DISS claims Moyo Guma is running away from his sins while he claims there is a bullet with his name on it. His whereabouts remain unknown for now and it remains unclear whether he will continue to run for position of BDP Secretary General. PHILLIMON MMESO reports
Chickens have come home to roost for Samson Moyo Guma, a shrewd, fearless and fast-talking operative who has raised business alliance with politics in Botswana to an altogether new height since he joined politics in 2004.
The Director General of Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Brigadier (R) Peter Magosi has not taken kindly to the assertion that they want to eliminate some politicians who are against President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
On Tuesday, the nation was shocked to hear that the MP for Tati West Samson Moyo Guma has skipped the country after allegedly receiving a tip that plans were afoot to assassinate him.
Guma, who used to be a close confidante President Masisi and the puppet master of many, has suddenly found himself on foreign land, isolated and alone.
Magosi revealed that when he heard the news that Guma has fled the country due to a threat to his life he called him but he didn’t pick the call.
“We talk daily with Guma and if there was a threat to his life he could have informed me… Why would we kill him,” he asked rhetorically.
Magosi said Guma must tell the nation the real truth why he has fled the country but not that his life is in danger.
On Thursday evening, presidential hopeful for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi confirmed on a radio interview that indeed there was threat on the life of Guma who is her campaign manager.
“Yes, he told me about the threat from some security agents and even me they are always following me around and I don’t know why,” she said.
Magosi said he has realised that politicians are just using them to appeal for votes as he has talked to Venson-Moitoi that no one is following her.
“She sent me a picture of car saying I must tell my officers to back off and I told her that car did not belong to DIS. I am surprised she is still using the same propaganda to tarnish our name,” he fumed.
DISS, and the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have been investigating Guma’s United Refineries Botswana (URB) and recently raided him over tax evasion investigations. The company is currently being sued for failing to pay loans to financial institutions leading to Guma recently applying for voluntary judicial management.
The company owes Botswana Development Company (BDC) P15 million in loan debt, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) P24 million while Unibulk Botswana wants P92 million for breach of contract. The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has also invested millions of Pula in the company.
Guma is also part of a citizen consortium that is setting up a sugar extraction plant in Francistown, in which government has a 40 percent stake through the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA). The Francistown project also involves construction of a golf estate.
Magosi said that his officers have investigated all these projects which some government financial institutions have pumped millions into and found that there is nothing.
“He knows very well that he has to answer regarding the millions of money which has been invested into his projects; yet none of them are working,” he said. Guma has also allegedly been granted 5,000 hectares of land in Pandamatenga for sunflower and sugar plantation projects which are currently not functioning.
BURS looking for him
The flamboyant businessman and politician, who is contesting for the position of Secretary General of BDP, saw his troubles increasing tenfold when the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) wanted to have tête-à-tête with him regarding his tax issues.
“He was supposed to meet with the BURS officials regarding his tax issues but failed to appear. That’s when he started claiming that his life is in danger,” said Magosi. Three years ago Guma found himself again in trouble with the taxman as his accounts were frozen.
In May 2015 Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), acting on behalf of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), filed a miscellaneous application for the bank accounts of Moyo Guma’s company, IRB Transport and those of his business associate Thapelo Olopeng, to be frozen.
Who is Moyo Guma?
He rose from the clutches of poverty in a sleepy village of Tsamaya in the North East District and came into prominence in 2004 when he toppled Chapson Butale in the party primary elections and then proceeded to win the Parliamentary seat.
He changed the way political campaign was done splashing money and holding workshops for electorates. Guma promised to construct a youth center which will have indoor stadium in his constituency something he is yet to fulfill.
He served as Assistant Minister of Finance for eight months in 2008 before stepping down in a cloud of controversy amid allegations that he was about to be charged for corruption.
After the Kanye elective congress in 2009 Guma was elected into the central committee. When BDP finally gave birth to its first political offspring Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) he became its first treasurer.
In 2012 the militant Tati East MP returned to the BDP and in 2013 he contested the party chairpersonship against his current political buddy Venson-Moitoi.
He won the elections but his stint as chairman was short-lived as he resigned a few months later. While he claimed that he resigned from the position to clear his name, reports later emerged that Guma left because he had failed to get protection from the Office of the President against a media smear campaign and intrusive investigations by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Service (DISS).
Guma was also implicated in the BDP’s messy primary elections ahead of the 2014 general elections – a charge he vehemently denied.
When Masisi became the VP after the 2014 elections and intended to contest as party chairman, Guma stood up and offered to lead his campaign. It was one of the most lavish campaigns the country had seen where because of the cash that was freely given they created a camping site at Mmadinare Congress called ‘camp Dubai’.
In 2017 he again led the campaign. Sources close to him have revealed that he was positioning himself to take over as party chairperson once Masisi ascended the presidency. When Masisi failed to appoint him as party Chairperson or even into his Cabinet, the betrayal he felt was the most extreme, those close to him have revealed.
They would be in opposite camps from that moment. It is for this reason, sources say, that he would seek a candidate to challenge Masisi together with all those who shared his hatred of the man. He found Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and former President Ian Khama ready and willing.