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CALLING FOR CALM: Balopi

BDP insider fingers Khama in party’s hacking scandal

The recent hacking of the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) voter’s roll is feared to be an inside job, with some party insiders accusing members loyal to former President Ian Khama of masterminding the incident.

They believe it was a direct attempt by Khama’s supporters to ‘disrupt and sabotage’ President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s regime.

The party were due to hold their last round of Bulela Ditswe (primary elections) across 40 constituencies this weekend.

However, they were forced to cancel indefinitely on Monday, after it emerged hackers had infiltrated the party’s system and manipulated voter registration in at least 22 of the 40 constituencies.

“What is happening is that hackers seemingly knew the system’s vulnerabilities and therefore managed to infiltrate the voter registration. They then altered it and in some cases deleted voter registration data,” claimed an insider.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, is in no doubt who is to blame.

“This is an internal fight from the former President, Ian Khama. He is trying to punish those who he feels have betrayed him at the cost of the party. This is all about his fight to have Isaac Kgosi (former DISS boss) be appointed his private secretary.

“In Shaw Kgathi’s constituency for instance, the manipulation was to get to him, as the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, for allowing Kgosi to be fired.”

The spy chief was released of his duties soon after Masisi succeeded Khama to the presidency in April this year.

Khama then requested Kgosi be appointed as his private secretary – a request that was denied.

Attempting to defuse the growing unrest surrounding the ruling party, BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi called for calm and insisted Khama was in ‘good standing’ with the party.

“We are not deterred. We are focused as a party. We are not going to be derailed by anyone. We have had a number of transitions in the past. We have former President and immediate former President who are all in good standing with the party. As we speak, we are okay,” maintained Balopi, speaking at a Press Conference on Tuesday afternoon.

As for postponing the primary elections, Balopi explained it was necessary because, “We were not going to allow ourselves, knowing that there will be a problem, to continue with the primaries.”

The Secretary General further revealed that Masisi, as the party President, would be the “face and leader of the campaign, chief campaigner and chief spokesperson,” for the 2019 general elections.

When quizzed on who could be behind the hacking, Balopi told The Voice, “We are still investigating the matter.”

Prompted further on why they had not reported the incident to the Police, Balopi said they intend to do so once the investigations are complete.

Meanwhile, in response to the rumours, Khama dismissed the allegations as false, adding he could never work against his own party.