Controversial Francistown West Member of Parliament, Ignatius Moswaane was this week temporarily detained at Francistown police station after he shared a video of a young girl who was brutally murdered in South Africa, on a BDP WhatsAPP group.
Moswaane, who was released after the police recorded his statement, later claimed that he shared the video to condemn gender based violence. Prior to his arrest, Moswaane told The Patriot on Sunday in an exclusive interview that he is living in fear as spy agents from the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) are hunting him like a hard core criminal. He alleges that even his family members also live in fear after being terrorised by the DIS agents. Moswaane has since written a letter to President Mokgweetsi Masisi appealing for his immediate intervention after another letter he wrote to the Office of the President complaining about the same institution was ignored.
In one recent incident, Moswaane said his son was kidnapped by the DIS officers who travelled with him to Palapye trying to solicit information that they can use against the legislator. Moswaane said his son stood firm and refused to divulge any information about him.
“My son told the agents that if they need any information about me, they should not hesitate to confront me. We reported the matter to Francistown police but even up to now nothing has been done to bring the officers to book,” he explained.
In another incident, the outspoken politician said his parliamentary office in Gaborone was broken into by unknown people. Prior to that incident, Moswaane alleges that DIS officers interrogated his close allies about the whereabouts of the office. He insists that the break in was carried out by people who were using specialised equipment to accomplish their mission.
The legislator highlighted that he has since engaged body guards to ensure that he is safe wherever he goes.
“With the limited resources that I have, I decided to hire body guards to always accompany me after realising that my life is in danger,” he pointed out, quickly adding that the decision by DIS agents to follow him is politically motivated. He said on numerous occasions DIS agents approached his loyal supporters in his constituency promising them financial rewards if they could furnish them with information that can disqualify Moswaane from contesting for Francistown West at the October general elections under the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ticket.
He claims that one of his supporters was promised P10 000 every month if he could divulge information that could be used to suspend Moswaane from the BDP. “All the people that DIS agents approached in an attempt to take me down have refused to be involved in such awful plans,” he added.
The BDP has of recent been suspending and expelling legislators who are believed to be aligned to former President Ian Khama. Among those who were recently suspended is Member of Parliament for Lerala-Maunatlala, Prince Maele.
Maele’s sin was to declare his unwavering support for Khama in a meeting held at Lerala kgotla. Moswaane is one of the vocal BDP MPs who has the tendency of breaking ranks with his colleagues within the ruling party, disregarding party caucus decisions.
He accused the DIS of mingling in political matters rather than focusing on their core mandate. Moswaane maintains that he is not corrupt, insisting that he is a law abiding citizen who is committed to serving his constituents diligently.
Moswaane is not the only prominent leader who has complained about the purported harassment by DIS agents. When addressing Bangwato in Serowe recently, Khama called for the disbanding of the DIS, arguing that the organisation is hell bent on terrorising innocent citizens and that DIS was now used by the current regime led by Masisi to fight political battles.
Ironically, Khama is the one who established the organisation during his presidency and it was headed by his close ally, Isaac Kgosi who was later fired by Masisi. During Khama’s tenure, DIS was accused of meting out extra judicial killings and misappropriation of public funds.
DIS spokesperson, Edward Robert, dismissed allegations levelled against the spy unit arguing that they are a professional outfit that operates within the parameters of the law. “The DIS is apolitical. We only interfere in political issues if they are posing a threat to the sitting President,” Robert emphasized. He stipulated that Moswaane is not posing any threat to national security so he is not on their radar. Roberts urged all Batswana to launch formal complaints with the DIS if they feel that DIS agents are following them.