- Defence Minister Mmusi confirms that Makgophe reached out to him before arrest
- Former BDF commander says the nation should now be worried
- His greatest sin is challenging the DIS to be professional and respect the Police-Khama
Hardly a month following the Law Society of Botswana (LSB)’s call for government to protect the Police Service from what it termed the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) abuse, the intelligence agency has struck again. This time by arresting and detaining the man in the Police’s highest office, Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe in an exercise that has left the government exposed and some state agents embarrassed.
Before his arrest for questioning, reportedly in connection with licenses of weapons of war allegedly granted to former President Ian Khama, Makgophe reached out to his Minister Kagiso Mmusi for counsel and probably counseling, this is according to highly placed sources. Minister Mmusi confirmed this to this publication, “yes, Commissioner Makgophe informed me that he has been summoned to the DIS detention centre in Sebele. My advice to him was that he should just go and hear what they have to say. For now, I can just say we should wait and see what comes out of the meeting.”
He said when he spoke to Makgophe’s deputy around 6PM, he was informed that Makgophe was still at the notorious DIS offices. “Questioning is just questioning. I do not think we need to draw conclusions yet,” concluded Mmusi who recently rebuffed LSB’s concerns that the spy agency continues to operate above the law and in total control and abuse of other law enforcement agencies.
Making a presentation at this year’s opening of the legal year, Tshekiso called on the powers that be to tame the DIS which is a law unto itself.
“The DIS continues to operate above the law. Other law enforcement agencies are helpless as the DIS seems to have usurped their mandate. There should be a clear line and definition of roles of all law enforcement agencies which have been created especially for certain purposes. The DIS should not be allowed to assume the powers of the Botswana Police Services when it comes to investigations of criminal offences and DCEC when it comes to investigation of corruption or PPADB when it comes to adjudication of tenders,” he said.
Following that the DIS responded angrily to the statement by the LSB disputing the remarks and saying such statements had the potential to mislead the public.
Khama responds to Makgophe’s arrest
Responding to this publication on his reaction to Makgophe’s arrest and the allegations surrounding his arrest, Khama said: “My first reaction is one of disgust, that someone who is at the head of the nation’s top most security agency is arrested and illegally detained for an alleged administrative action. They could have simply met him in his office to mention the subject and deal with it there, instead of this heavy handed and illegal action.”
He continued: “But we recall the commissioner who unlike them is a professional, almost lost his job a few months ago for challenging the DIS’s attempts to control the Police. He is known to have expressed his unhappiness in the way the laws of the country are being flouted . This is payback on Masisi’s instructions. Having realized my weapons are legal and they failed to pin any unlawful weapons in my possession, they are resorting to retaliation against a weapon presented to me as a gift six years ago when I was in office . So why now?”
“These are the same weapons I volunteered to hand over to them when they came to me without a search warrant and they opted not to act so they could go around arresting people illegally. They will never recover from their 100 billion pula fabrication,” charged Khama.
Former BDF commander speaks..
Reacting to the news of the arrest of the Police boss, the former Botswana Defence Force commander, Lieutenant General Gaolathe Galebotswe expressed shock at the development, adding that, “but I am not surprised.”
He continued: “This should be a cause for concern. An MP was recently arrested in full public glare and now the Police Commissioner. Where is this all heading. The Commissioner’s arrest should concern us all. Who is next? I do not even think the DIS director, Peter Magosi should be the one doing all these considering his history, but I will leave it there.”
The DIS chief, Magosi did not take this publication’s calls at the time of going to press.