‘Arrested former Botswana Govt official has US$390m in her personal account’

Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi Photo; weekendpost.co.bw

THE Gaborone High Court  last week denied former Botswana Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent, Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi, bail. 

The 46-year-old former agent known as ‘‘Butterfly’’ in spy circles was charged with financing terrorism by allegedly moving money around linked to former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi. She was denied bail after the state argued that she was a flight risk. 

She was also accused of having the sum of US$390m (about P4,2 billion) in her personal account and having five different passports she used to travel around the world, of which one is a diplomatic passport, she has not surrendered to the police. 

The state, represented by Priscilla Israel, told the court that Butterfly was charged because she was the signatory to the accounts that were used to transfer money, some of which was in the sum of P48m. The state also accused her of having an intimate relationship with former DIS boss, Kgosi, and that they had discussions of moving the money around in the course of their alleged love escapades. Kgosi was early this year arrested on suspicion of tax evasion. He is said to be a top ally to former Botswana President Ian Khama.

“Conversations extracted showed that the two were lovers and (that) they had shared a room during one of their trips outside the country,” Israel said. 

Butterfly’s lawyer, Unoda Mack, argued that the state had no case against her and the prosecution failed to show any proof of her involvement. Mack said if at all the state’s allegation that she was a signatory, they should have shown proof in the form of bank statements and that there also ought to have been paper trail of the said money.

“If it is true the accounts do exist, there should be details, especially a statement from the bank. The state has failed to give us such,” he said. — mmegi.bw