- BDF will not reveal whether they are still looking for the equipment
- Say they do not want to discuss the matter
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) has refused to shed light on the plans to recover the Military Intelligent missing spying equipment which the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) boss, Brigadier Peter Magosi has tied to his predecessor, Isaac Kgosi.
In the mix is also the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Mineral Security, Eric Molale who in court proceedings was suggested to be among the people who may be in the know of the equipment’s whereabouts, as it was last seen at the Okavango Diamond Company meeting in Kasane where he was in attendance.
The Botswana Gazette this week asked the BDF to state their position on the missing Cellebrite cellphone cloning devices that was loaned to the Directorate of Intelligence and Services and whether the equipment has been returned, as well as to ascertain whether they have made any attempts to establish the whereabouts of the equipment. The BDF were also asked to shed some light on whether the machine still important to the military.
In response, the BDF said they are not yet willing to speak on the matter. The army’s Spokesperson, Major Fana Maswabi responded, “Please be informed that for security reasons, matters relating to military intelligence operations and equipment cannot be discussed with the public or members of the media.”
The BDF response is in contrast to that of its former intelligence boss, Magosi, who last-week responded to question on the equipment. Magosi told the Botswana Gazette that whoever is serious in ascertaining the whereabouts of the equipment should speak to Kgosi as he was the last person to have it in his possession.
The equipment disappeared during the tenure of Brigadier Peter Magosi- then Head of BDF Military Intelligence-MI. The matter triggered internal investigations by the BDF several years later, a Board of Enquiry, ex-Commander Lieutenant General Gaolathe Galebotswe disclosed.
Speaking to the media, Lt General Galebotswe disclosed that the matter smacked of a power struggle within the highest offices of the military and the intelligence agencies.
Revelations in court proceedings filed by Magosi to interdict the Enquiry, when they refused to avail information essential to the conduct of his case, revealed that the controversial equipment had been missing for a period in excess of 6 years. The BDF had convened a Board of Enquiry and intended to call the then Permanent Secretary to the President, (PSP) Eric Molale and intelligence chief, Isaac Kgosi despite the disappearance of crucial evidence in the form of a log book.
According to Galebotswe, he personally asked Molale and Kgosi about the missing equipment and made them aware that their names were implicated in its disappearance.
Cellebrite cell phone cloning devices and signal jamming spy gadgets are used by spy agencies to clone cell phones and block reception and transmissions of cell phones respectively.
Isaac Kgosi said he knew nothing about the spy equipment when Botswana Gazette contacted him.