- TK says his request to hire Magosi for his Spy Unit was shot down
- TK was hurt but decided to let the injustice go
- Says Magosi is the cream of the crop
The former president Ian Khama ‘s brother, Tshekedi Khama, Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, has revealed that contrary to popular belief, the new Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) director, Peter Magosi was never employed under his Ministry ‘s wildlife intelligence as his request to hire him was shot down with full force.
Magosi was fired by Ian Khama in 2016 while at the BDF, following a cold war between the Military and DIS. In the aftermath of the dismissal Khama’s brother Tshekedi moved swiftly to secure the services of Magosi, who is widely respected in the intelligence sector as a master in the field.
Tshekedi says his decision was forcefully rejected, “Many people say Magosi was hired to head the wildlife intelligence that is not true. Magosi never worked in my ministry. My request to hire Magosi was rejected and shot down with force by those who held power then,” The Minister reveals, in an exclusive interview with this publication.
Tshekedi Khama says the refusal to allow him to hire Magosi frustrated and angered him, “I was frustrated. I thought I had a big catch only to find that it was never meant to be. Magosi is not your regular guy. He is the cream of the crop. Young, talented, level headed and educated in his field and that’s the Intelligence I envisaged. He would have been well suited for what I had anticipated,” he said.
Magosi joined the BDF 32 years ago as an officer cadet and currently holds two Masters’ degree qualifications in defence and strategic studies. He was a key figure at the BDF’s Military Intelligence, where he had been Deputy Chief of Staffand Assistant Chief before he being made Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade. He was Chief of Staff – Joint Operations at the BDF Headquarters at the time the President retired him and replaced him with Brigadier M. Mukokomani.
Tshekedi says he was simply told that “no, not that one.” “And after some time, I decided to let go.”
The appointment of Magosi to the Wildlife intelligence sources reveal, would have sent shockwaves in the intelligence community and rekindled or given rise to inter-agency spy wars.
Tshekedi was not a fan of Ian Khama’s blue-eyed boy, Isaac Kgosi and was among the first Ministers to publicly attack Kgosi over the DIS’s ‘misuse’ of public funds. Tshekedi Khama opposed a DIS request for a supplementary budget from Parliament, saying Government ought to get its priorities right, “I am surprised that for the DIS, P15 million can be authorised to fix the computers. What are we saying to Batswana?”
Asked for his views on Kgosi’s sacking, Tshekedi took a long pause before saying: “Everybody knows my views on Kgosi and the way he was running the DIS. So, at the time Kgosi was fired by President Masisi, I decided not to engage my conscience about it. Let me leave it there.”
The Minister confirmed that it was an open secret that during Kgosi’s tenure the working relationship between his own intelligence unit and the DIS collapsed irreparably. “A lot happened but it is not important to delve into the past now as we now have a perfect relationship with the new director,” he said further adding that he is happy for Magosi.
When asked about the status of his intelligence following Masisi’s ascendency to the presidency, Tshekedi Khama said “it is still alive and doing its job but like I said I want people who can do the job, people who are capable and can match modern-day challenges and poachers.”
Tshekedi said he did not establish the intelligence but found it there and only equipped it. In 2017 the Minister however told parliament that the Spy Unit was not part of the intelligence community. This was after members of parliament wanted to know about its establishment role and the legal authority that established it.