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Kgosi rejects DCEC agents

It was all drama at the Phakalane mansion of former Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) boss, Isaac Kgosi, this Thursday as he refused to cooperate with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) in an effort to solicit an interview and record a statement on the multi-million National Petroleum Fund scandal, threatening to assault the investigators. 

DCEC director, Bruno Paledi called Kgosi in person on Wednesday, summoning him to come to his office for interview and statement recording, but Kgosi refused. Kgosi told Bruno he would not come to their office, saying whoever wanted him should follow him at his house, according to sources close to the case. “He also told the director that he should not send him a certain Andries German who is the lead investigator in the case saying he would assault him,” said the source.

On Thursday afternoon, the DCEC director sent a team of three men led by German to Kgosi’s house to take statements from him. Kgosi is said to have refused to cooperate and dismissed the men from his house. “Le a ntlwaela, just fuck off,” he said to the investigating officers. WeekendPost is also alive to an on-going investigation on Kgosi by a five men team from Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS). The officers go around asking people about Kgosi’s personal and work related life. They are targeting his former colleagues and his former friends.

Two months ago, an alleged collaboration of security agents from the DCEC and DIS invaded property owned by Kgosi. The agents went to Kgosi’s farm in Lephephe near Molepolole in the Kweneng district and Sentlhane farm in Mmokolodi over the weekend.  Eye witnesses at one of the farms said: “The agents forcibly gained access to the farm and started taking pictures. They had refused to disclose their names and started shouting at Kgosi’s farm workers.”

Kgosi is one of the key witnesses in the P250 million NPF money laundering scandal. At the recent mention at the Broadhurst Magistrate Court, the Directorate of Public of Prosecutions prosecutor Tyron Mokgathong indicated that the reason they were unable to proceed with the case was that they intend to charge more people in the case. Kgosi has been linked to a contract signed by Government of Botswana and Dignia Systems of Israel.

 The Israeli company is suing the Government of Botswana for outstanding payment, after they only received half of the amount paid by Khulaco (the company that has Bakang Seretse and Botho Leburu as nominee shareholders), an entity appointed by the DIS to make payment in respect of the P250m anti-poaching and Security Intelligence contract.

Sources in the intelligence note that the intimidation and harassment of Kgosi by DCEC investigators has the potential to spill over.  Kgosi has not taken kindly to this new development. He is said to have reported the matter to the Botswana Police Service because he believes he is being harassed.

While Kgosi has been removed from the system, others say: “He still holds influence at the DIS with some residual staff loyal to him and has continuously threatened to retaliate at any move to intimidate and or harass him.  At every juncture he has dared the State to make any move towards him, saying he has over 40 years’ experience in intelligence and will expose people,” said the source. The move to harass Kgosi however is seen as a surprise twist on the side of the DCEC.  In fact Kgosi has been a star witness for the DCEC in the money laundering case.

In December he deposited an affidavit distancing himself from Khulaco, Bakang and Botho.  Later, documents proved otherwise when evidence showed that he was actually the person who had appointed the company to make payments on behalf of the DIS. Meanwhile some legal experts have cast doubt on the possibility of any wrongdoing by Kgosi in the ongoing money laundering case or the legal suit by Dignia.  

They hold the view that in all instances he acted in his capacity of Director General of the DIS, and DCEC is seen to be overreacting by questioning the administrative processes of his tenure at DIS. “Kgosi on behalf of the DIS, asked for money from a fellow government department and he was duly given that money by Dr Obakeng as Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.  It is a norm within government to request funding from another department.  As a matter of fact, recently the same controversial NPF got funding from the Road Fund.  And this was not seen as corrupt,” said a source.

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Government sitting on 4 400 vacant posts

14th September 2020
(DPSM) Director Goitseone Naledi Mosalakatane

Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.

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FNBB projects deeper 50 basis point cut for Q4 2020

14th September 2020
Steven Bogatsu

Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.

The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter.  According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.

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Food suppliers give Gov’t headache – report

14th September 2020
Food suppliers give Gov’t headache

An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.

Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.

There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.

The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.

Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.

In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.

“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.

In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.

“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”

Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.

In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.

In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.

This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.

In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.

Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.

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