DCEC Head allegedly threatens to quit over staff transfer
• CMB Lead IO dropped
• ‘Butterfly’ Prosecutor moved
• Gerrie Nel reports botched investigations
The Director-General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has allegedly threatened to quit his top job following Government’s controversial reshuffling of investigators and prosecutors handling high-profile cases this week.
Information gathered by this publication has suggested that Katholo threatened to step down in one of the high-profile meetings with top Government officials when he was made aware of Government’s intended changes and transfers.
The changes that seem to have irked Katlholo include the transfer of lead prosecutor in the 100 billion money laundering case, Priscilla Israel from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – where she was handling amongst others the Welminah Maswabi case and the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) corruption and fraud case.
Maswabi, codename Butterfly faces charges of possession of unexplained property and false declaration of passport.
Her most serious charge of financing terrorism was dropped with the option to reinstate.
Israel is headed for DCEC as the Deputy General Operation where she will replace Enerst Mosate who has been transferred to (The fusion centre) the Counterterrorism office.
The move according to a highly placed source was not welcomed by Katholo, hence his threat to resign in the middle of his three year contract in a job he was head hunted for after the sudden transfer of the former DCEC head, brigadier Kenneth Mathambo back to the army where he came from.
“DCEC and Israel have always differed on the Butterfly case as Israel was pushing for trial whilst the DCEC was of the view that there was no case or rather it was too early in the investigations to proceed with prosecution. Katholo came in and shared the same view hence why in the leaked audios you could hear that the DCEC was totally against the way things have been done. So it is going to be interesting to see how the two will work together,” a highly placed source posited.
In another twist in the high profile cases, the lead investigator in the CMB matter- Jako Hubona has been dropped from the investigating team.
Asked why they decided to drop the lead IO, DCEC could only say, The Voice questionnaire bordered on operational matters of the DCEC and decline to comment further.
“Kindly note that the issues you have raised border on operational issues of the DCEC. Therefore I am not in a position to discuss such as it is prohibited by the corruption and Economic Crime Act to do so,” reads their response.
When questioned about the transfer of the prosecutor in the Butterfly case DCEC said, “Kindly note that recruitment, promotion, redeployment and or termination of employment for officers on salary Scales of E2 and above is handled by the Permanent Secretary to the President. Therefore, the PSP’s office is better placed to answer your questions.”
However, in a telephonic interview, Katlholo’s short comment before hanging up the phone was “I know nothing.”
The Voice further reached the DPP DG- Stephen Tiroyakgosi who also directed The Voice to the office of the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP).
Acting PSP- Emma Peloetletse ignored TheVoice Watsap messages since Monday and hung up the phone when called.
“It is a hot potato to be honest. Government is trying to cover up for fumbling in the cases,” our source further alleged.
Still in the same matter- Advocate Gerrie Nel landed in Botswana for the second time on Monday. The Voice can further reveal that Nel has handed in his report to the DPP and the DISS- a docket that is closely guarded.
According to inside information, Nel’s report points out the many misgivings in the Butterfly matter.
The report allegedly points out that the state rushed to drag the suspended spy Maswabi (Butterfly) to court.
It also points out the division and the hostile working relationship between state organs – DISS, Police, DCEC, and DPP in the matter.
Asked about the report Nel directed the Voice to the DPP- he has since refused to meet reporters upon his second visit into the country.
Butterfly’s case continues before the court in August when Nel is expected to appear on behalf of the state.