- Masisi’s team, DISS set-up a plan to get Butale arrested go down in flames
- DCEC penetrative investigation absolves Butale
- Butale escapes jail by a whisker as Seretse refuses orders to arrest him
- Shocked and dejected Butale vows to report set-up to President Khama
- Bribery plot implicates, Manyana BDP Cllr. aspirant, Trade employee
Astute and penetrative investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) may have saved the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Biggie Butale, a two-day jail set-up by what DCEC sources describe as the work of his “political nemesis” and the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS).The operation, according to highly placed sources was orchestrated by a senior official at Butale’s ministry with the support of DISS operatives and one Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Manyana council aspirant known to this publication- whose links with the Vice-president, Mokgweetsi Masisi’s team is public knowledge.
In a brief interview with this publication, Butale who is the de-facto leader of Nonofo Molefhi’s campaign team said he is not yet in a position to speak about the matter, adding: “But it is true that I survived a two day arrest plot. I am not yet in a position to shed light on its origins or traces but what I can say is that I will report the matter to the president so that the culprits may account.”Asked about his views on the operation, Butale who is also a pastor replied: “All I can say is that this is not the Botswana I grew up in.” Butale, who is vying for the position of Deputy Secretary General in the July party elections further declined to field follow up questions requesting that his position be respected.
The plot according to highly placed sources was to set up Butale to serve a two day term of arrest pending investigations over allegations of a fabricated bribery case in a P130 000 bribery incident in assistance of a reputable local hotel over a gambling licence issue. According to sources, Butale’s political nemesis identified “a highly-placed partner” within his ministry to look for anything they could use against him.
“We guess they could not and the enemies made suggestions. They picked that the said hotel has been having troubles with their gambling licence for some time and planned a bribery and impersonation incident that would portray Butale receiving the bribe from the hotel boss. The council aspirant’s role in the deal was that his physical make-up is a complete mirror of Butale’s and he was to receive the bribe from the hotel manager while the DISS operatives were behind capturing close up back view camera shots which will later be used as evidence to suggest that it was Butale receiving the bribe,” a source narrated.
The plot was that upon delivering the suggestive evidence, the plot engineers would then pressurise the DCEC to immediately arrest Butale pending investigations while a certain newspaper editor was on the sideline to break the story in what was perceived to be the premature end of Butale and his BDP campaign team popularly known as Banonofhi: a move imagined to be a masterstroke for the Masisi-Khama axis. The two parties will be contesting BDP central committee positions in Tonota next month. A source says the low-grade plot went accordingly until DCEC officers developed doubts along the way, intensifying their investigations before succumbing to bizarre outside pressure from certain “elders” to make arrest pending investigations.
“The DISS operatives made several calls to us to make an immediate arrest but we resisted because the investigations were still sketchy and there was reasonable suspicion that something is not right in the manner in which they wanted us to operate,” said a source who explained that the conspiracy was immediately abandoned by its masterminds upon realising that it was about to expose them. “It appears they were only interested in the arrest and release part and not the case to effect a political massacre,” the source said.
In a brief interview with this publication, DCEC Spokesperson, Phakamile Kraai said: “The matter refereed above is not before the DCEC. The police deal with impersonification issues and we can only advice the minister to report the issue to the police. If you have full facts you can come and report the bribery part to be registered with our records department.”
Last week the spy agency boss, Isaac Kgosi, shocked members of the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) when he revealed that indiscipline was also rife within in his organization, further adding that he had referred two of his juniors to the Botswana Police Services for criminally acquiring imprest. Unfortunately, Kgosi could not respond to questions from this publication this week as his phone rang unanswered for the most part of Monday while Masisi’s phone was off early on Monday.
A few months back, this publication carried a story in which BDP ‘s Deputy Treasurer, Jagdish Shah confirmed that he was ambushed by a man who identified himself as a spy operative from DISS who was asking him highly political questions on his political ambitions. Shah who confirmed that he was recruited into the party by Butale has since developed cold feet to challenge the party’s long-time treasurer Satar Dada and will only defend his current position, dumping his initial plan to fill the party’s treasury post.