- Katlholo tells Parliament that he has engaged Office of the President about the matter
- Tells Parliament that he does not know what prompted the transfers
- Warns that experienced investigators are expensive to replace and nurture
Amid reports of his threats to quit, the head of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo, has told the Parliamentary Committee on Governance and Oversight that he has decided to engage his superiors at the Office of the President (OP) over recent controversial transfers of his management team and that he hopes the discussions will bear fruit.
It is not yet known what will happen to Katlholo, should the OP reject his appeal not to emasculate the directorate.
The hard-nosed director revealed to the committee that he was not briefed or in any way engaged about the transfers, prompting the committee to ask him what his role is in the appointment and transfer process of his officers.
“D1 and upwards, appointments and transfers are the reserve of the Permanent Secretary to the President while I only deal with D1 downwards,” Katlholo answered.
He expressed concern about the transfers, implying that they may leave the directorate bereft of experienced investigators and result in the corruption-busting agency crippled and ineffective. “Investigators of over seven to 10 years’ experience are rare to find and replace,” he said. “You don’t acquire them overnight.”
In the unprecedented overhaul at DCEC, Director General Tymon Katlholo’s deputy Ernest Mosate was promoted on transfer to head the anti-terrorism financing unit, lead investigator Andre German was transferred to DPP, principal anti-corruption officer Lebogang Moshasho was transferred to Mogoditshane sub-land board, legal officer Tsholofelo Bareetsi and human resource manager Agnes Mothobi are also said to be among those transferred.
Insiders link the transfers to two matters. One is a case in which former president Ian Khama, founding head of DISS Isaac Kgosi and DISS agent Wilheminah Maswabiare accused of embezzling P100 billion from the Bank of Botswana. DCEC is opposed to proceeding to court with this case for what in its view is lack of evidence. In the other matter, the PermanentSecretary to the President, Emma Peloetletse, is facing corruption charges pursued by DCEC. DCEC officers have allegedly been under pressure to drop the corruption case involving their superior, Peloetletse, who recently made headlines following her transfer to the Office of the President when under serious investigation.
Among the notable transfers to DCEC is of the second-in-command atDPP, the prosecutor in the P100 billion saga, Priscilla Israel, who is now Katlholo’s deputy. Some of the transferred DCEC officers who preferred anonymity see her as one on a special assignment to advance the interests of Government Enclave and rein in DCECdirector Katlholo’s independent streak.