DISS blocks IDM Appointment of former PS

  • IDM appointed Dr. Mooko as new Country Director for Botswana
  • Dr. Mooko told not to report for duty on Feb 1st
  • OP summon IDM regional director over Dr. Mooko recruitment

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) has blocked the appointment of former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Theophilus Mooko, as the new Country Director for Botswana at the Institute of Development Management (IDM), The Botswana Gazette has established.

Dr. Mooko was expected to assume his new role on 1st February 2022 following the announcement of his appointment on 21st January 2022. However, sources say he was told not to report for work by the institution on Monday because the Office of the President (OP) had advised him not to.

The Botswana Gazette is informed that the Regional Director of IDM, Richard Malikongwa, was summoned to the OP to explain Dr. Mooko’s recruitment.

IDM is funded by the governments of Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe was the last IDM country director for Botswana.

“It is true that I was informed that I should not report for duty,” the former PS said. “I have not been told why but I suggest that you put those questions to the relevant parties.”

Those close to Dr. Mooko have hinted at the possibility of him suing the government. IDM communications consultant, Grace Mosinyi, has confirmed that there were ongoing engagements between the IDM Board and concerned stakeholders regarding the appointment of Dr Mooko but would not be drawn on details.

Nonetheless, sources say ongoing graft investigations by DISS and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) into Dr. Mooko’s time at the Ministry of Tertiary Education is the reason behind blocking him from assumption of duties at his new appointment.

DISS has reportedly asked to clear Dr Mooko before he can assume his new appointment.  In 2019, numerous complaints of abuse of office were filed against Dr. Mooko and some of his previous staff members at the ministry. One of the cases against him is the controversial closure of Botswana’s first flying school, International Aviation Solutions (IAS).

At the time, DCEC spokesperson Lentswe  Motshoganetsi confirmed  receipt of  alleged corruption reports concerning Dr. Mooko’s ministry. Motshoganetsi noted that some reports had considerable evidence and had since been handed over to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration for prosecution.

It is believed that these investigations influenced the decision by President Mokgweetsi Masisi not to renew Dr. Mooko’s contract as PS in April 2020 and he left his post on 31st May 2020.

The Public Relations Officer at DISS Edward Robert’s phone rang without answer on Tuesday afternoon.