DPP Summons BoB Governor over Khama, Kgosi
- DPP reconciling Governor’s and investigators’ statements
- Governor convinced there is no BoB money missing
TEFO PHEAGE & LETLHOGILE MPUANG
The Governor of the Bank of Botswana (BoB), Moses Pelaelo, was recently summoned for questioning by the head of the Directorate Public Prosecutions, Stephen Tiroyakgosi, in an effort to hear Pelaelo’s version of the P100 billion that was allegedly looted from BoB by former president Ian Khama and former spy chief Isaac Kgosi, Tiroyakgosi has confirmed.
“It is true that I met the Bank of Botswana governor, Mr Pelaelo,” Tiroyakgosi told The Gazette. “Although the details of the meeting are between the two of us, I have no problem divulging that that he expressed concern about the allegations and their reputational harm potential on the nation state and further reiterated his position that there is no money missing from Bank of Botswana.”
Pelaelo has been with BoB for over 30 years and deputised former governor Linah Mohohlo during the Khama presidency.
Although the Governor’s statement and position seem to have dented the credibility of the state’s case in which secret agent Wilheminah Maswabi faced charges around distributing to various offshore accounts, among them Khama’s and Kgosi’s, the DPP director says they still believe in their case.
“Our investigations are continuing and we now have to reconcile these two contradictory standpoints from the Governor and our investigations team,” he said Tiroyakgosi but would not elaborate.
Attorney Unoda Mack of the defence team has said they are aware of the Governor’s position and will conveniently use it to prove the fabrication that they accuse Tiroyakgosi of. It is not the first time the Governor has engaged about this matter. Pelaelo’s clarification was sought by MPs last year where he is said to have assured Parliament that he was not aware of any missing P100 billion.
DISS, together with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) and the DPP, claims that Khama and Kgosi ransacked the central bank and stole P100 billion during Khama’s presidency. DCEC investigator, Jako Hubona, in an affidavit deposed in court, says Khama and Kgosi instructed BoB to open three bank accounts which were used to loot public funds amounting to P100 billion.
The defence has come out hard against the state, trashing every allegation made against them and imputing improper motives on the prosecution. They roped in the South African financial institutions named in the saga, Nedbank and Absa, who have both denied allegations by the state that Maswabi had some accounts with them in papers before the court.
The state did not counter or oppose this damning evidence against it, prompting which many legal minds say the silence was an admittance of guilt. However, Tiroyakgosi retorted this week: “It was a tactical move to avoid the unnecessary back and forth and focus on the bigger picture.”
The state has been under immense pressure to prove why they have not charged or cited the alleged kingpins in the scandal, Khama and Kgosi. Khama’s lawyers, Ramalepa Attorneys, say the DCEC investigator Hubona has a habit of fabricating evidence on a regular basis to suit his own narrative, hence the concoction of lies against them. They cited a case at the Regional Magistrate’s court for the Gaborone Region’s judgement under criminal case number CMRRS-000003-18 delivered on October 11, 2019 which found that Hubona had fabricated evidence by adding extrinsic content to a witness’s sworn statement.
At a time of seeking bail, Maswabi – who is popularly known as “Butterfly” – said her imprisonment and harassment resulted from her refusal to accede to Magosi’s request to reveal Kgosi’s secret accounts and misdeeds that she is not aware of. The case is due on 7 February 2020.