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DEVILS AT GOVT, CEDA

The MidweekSun Admin

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The CEO of CEDA Thabo Thamane this week appeared before Broadhurst Magistrate Court to testify in a threat-to-kill case. Particulars of the matter are that Tombo has been charged with threat to kill contrary to section 2.20 and for the use of insulting language, contrary to section 1.80 of the Penal Code.

The particulars of the case are that on July 5, 2017 in Gaborone without lawful excuse, Tombo said to Minister Dorcas Makgato: “I want P5 million this year or I will behead you,” or words to that effect. He is also said to have “conducted himself in a provoking manner or in a manner believed to be provoking.” The case has been dragging on for nearly two years now. Last month, a fired up Makgato testified in court that the accused had threatened to kill her and insulted her mother, adding that the accused is a lunatic.

Still during the same court case last month, Tombo shocked court when he stated that Thamane, who has been CEO of CEDA for about 17 years now, would be his witness. Thamane, who appeared annoyed to be there, openly testified, interestingly, against the accused. Thamane told court that he had come across the accused, Tombo, about twice. He explained that the accused had once applied for a loan at CEDA but unfortunately it was rejected. “It was a business related something to do with a kombi and sorghum,” he said vaguely. He also said that the loan application was rejected because Tombo’s submission did not meet the requirements.

“We told him why his loan was not approved,” he added. Thamane further said some time following his loan rejection, the accused started calling and insulting him. He described Tombo as someone who likes to speak using insults, demeaning words and distorting people’s words. Thamane said he would later receive a call from then director of DCEC Rose Seretse, who enquired about the loan rejection. A meeting was called and Thamane attended it.

“During proceedings of the meeting, I explained the procedure and requirements for a loan application with CEDA to Tombo and it appeared as if he understood everything that I told him,” he said.
But it appears that the accused did not as he would allegedly go on to insult Makgato, threatening to behead her and complaining everywhere, even going to the Office of the President. Tombo claimed that his CEDA loan application had been rejected because he had failed to produce a BDP membership card.

During cross examination, the prosecutor Amos, highlighted to court that Tombo applied for a CEDA loan in 2010 but started insulting the complainant, Makgato, in 2015. She wondered why it had taken so long for the accused to start expressing his disgruntlement. She added that at the time that Tombo uttered the insults, Makgato had already left the Ministry of Trade and Industry where she was minister and had been transferred to a different ministry.

“Why is it that the accused did not at least find out where the complainant was before hurling insults? He could have engaged the then minister about his matter.” As usual Tombo who appeared disheveled could not give a solid answer and only said: “All these people are devils and corrupt.” During cross examination, Tombo has never denied that he insulted Makgato and sent her unsavoury text messages. In his defence, he claimed that he was “very angry at Makgato.”The case, which is being heard by Magistrate Tshepo Thedi, will continue next month.

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I broke the law in good faith – Moswaane

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YES I ERRED: Ignatius Moswaane is weary of some within his party, BDP.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, has his electorates behind him. The maverick MP has recently found himself on the wrong side of the law after circulating a graphic video clip on social media depicting a woman in South Africa being brutally knifed to death.

At a consultative meeting with his constituents at the Leseding Hall on Saturday, he explained that his action was done in good faith. “I am a member of the SADC committee that deals with issues of abuse and harassment relating to women and children. I shared the video on facebook with our parliamentary group. This was to bring about awareness amongst ourselves on gender violence and brutality against women,” he said to the bemused audience. Moswaane, who admitted that he broke the law, swears that, the video was leaked deliberately by his enemies in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to put him into trouble with the law and jeopardise his political career.

The outspoken legislator claimed that when he shared a similar video of an unnamed country in the past, he achieved the desired results because the SADC committee he is a member of, took up the matter and an investigation was made. According to recent media reports, the MP has been viewed with suspicion of disloyalty to President Mokweetsi Masisi given the ongoing feud the state president has with his predecessor Ian Khama. Those looking at him with suspicion have suggested that he was loyal to Khama who is leading a crusade to topple Masisi from power at the general elections this year.

According to Moswaane, some with vested interests in the BDP want him out of the race for Francistown West constituency so that their preferred candidate may contest in his place. “I do not think it is the party. Maybe it is just some individuals in a faction within the party.” After the video was leaked, BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi issued a statement expressing dismay at the circulating video.

The MP however, does not see the video clip incident in isolation. He is convinced that considering his motive of sensitising people of the brutal act, he should have been warned instead of being arrested and his cell phone taken away from him. “It is clear that DIS is looking for something else in my cell phone which has got nothing to do with the video,” said Moswaane who accused the spy agency, DIS and his political opponents in the BDP of working against him. During question and comments time, a woman who introduced herself only as Senjoba, called for financial support for Moswaane should he need the services of a lawyer.

Another speaker, Moalosi said that what was happening to the MP was an indication that no one is safe. “The opposition has always said that DIS is used for witch-hunting. It shows we are also not protected,” he said. Olebile Motsamai called on the people to protect their MP. “As the electorate, you know what to do to end these things,” said Motsamai. The legislator

recounted a number of instances where some of his constituents have come to confess to him that DIS had offered them money to help frame him but they refused. This is not the first time that the MP has accused DIS of being used for political ends. The head of the spy agency, Peter Magosi has, in the past, rubbished Moswaane’s claims that he is being followed.

Moswaane’s collision with the BDP leadership is not new as he has also clashed with the leadership of former president Khama. In 2009 Moswaane contested and won Monarch south ward as an independent candidate after rejecting the primary election results which he found controversial.

In 2013 he and the BDP were disqualified from contesting a by-election by the Independent Electoral Commission. This was after the party had neglected to hear Whyte Marobela who had challenged the primary election results involving himself and Moswaane.

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BEWARE THE BPF

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NOT TRUSTED: The BNF veterans body does not trust anything with BDP roots

Botswana National Front (BNF) Veterans Association is cautioning the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to “tread carefully” regarding a possible working relationship with newly-formed Botswana Patrictic Front (BPF).

“UDC has to tread carefully because BDP never changes and the opposition never learns,” said the Association’s Chairman Patrick Kgoadi ahead of their meeting this weekend.The BPF is the latest breakaway offspring of the ruling party and is backed by a number of former BDP’s disgruntled members among them former president Ian Khama, former minister Biggie Butale and Tati East MP Guma Moyo. At a recent meeting in Serowe, Khama confirmed the membership of Moyo while over this past weekend, Butale insinuated that former minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi was also a member of the new party.

Kgoadi said even though it might be seen to be a good thing to work with BPF, the opposition should vigorously scrutinise the party and its intended purpose as the relationship could backfire and cost the opposition victory in the national polls. The purpose of the Saturday meeting is to discuss the collapsed structures of BNF, preparations for 2019 general elections, developments at UDC and formation of new party BPF.

According to Kgoadi, they have observed that the BNF structures are not as active as they should be especially during the election year.“Our structures used to be more active on election year. This year things are just blurry and this is worrisome. Even at UDC level BNF should be playing a leading role not only in the presidency but across the country. “We always have to be taking a leading role as a party that plays a significant role in uniting opposition parties.

“So as veterans we would be discussing these issues and how we could advise both the BNF and UDC leadership,” said Kgoadi. The veterans have since the formation of the association been at loggerheads with the BNF Central Committee on how things are run both at the BNF and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The veterans have thus been accused by the party leadership of always blowing things out of proportion and failing to use proper party channels when discussing internal matters.

BNF Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa has on several occasions pointed out that the veterans have served the party for long and should know processes and procedures to be followed when addressing internal matters. He expressed concern that the veterans always use channels that are not sanctioned by the party and its constitution. Kgoadi said the BNF central committee has for long been disingenuous and refused to meet them since 2017.

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