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UDC sues Petroleum Fund violators

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has last week furnished the Attorney General (AG) with a statutory notice of intention to sue Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director Isaac Kgosi, Director of Ministry of Minerals Energy and Water Resources Kenneth Kerekang and Permanent Secretary of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Dr Obolokile Obakeng.

The UDC has cited a total of seven defendants in the matter; AG, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; DIS, Kgosi in his personal capacity, Kerekang in his personal capacity; Obakeng in his personal capacity and Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. The coalition alleges that on or about August 7, Kgosi issued savingram under reference POLF6/10XXIX (40) where he stated as follows:

“The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security funded the construction of four months 40 petroleum storage facilities in Gaborone, Lonetree, Francistown and Selibe Phikwe during 2010. The objective of constructing and maintaining the facilities is to ensure that there is continuous supply of petroleum products for the essential services of the government. Currently the facilities are owned and operated primarily by the DIS.

However, there is a need to expand the facilities to include other essential organs of the government especially during petroleum supply disruptions. We have so far identified potential sites (Lobatse, Mahalapye, Maun, Nata, Gaborone and Lonetree) for such facilities and completed preliminary investigations including concept design for the proposed facilities: We therefore kindly request for the release of two hundred and fifty million Botswana Pula (P250Million) BWP for the detailed design and construction of some sites of the proposed project.”
It is UDC’s contention that the request as aforesaid was approved by the Ministry of Resources Green Technology and Energy Security without a tender for the said petroleum tanks and or contrary to the National Petroleum Fund Order.

It is also argued that later, a Savingram dated October 23, 2017 the original purpose being the provision of storage facilities in Gaborone, Lonetree, Francistown and Selibe Phikwe was changed.  And the funds were now to be used to acquire security and surveillance equipment for purposes of monitoring alleged threats relating to Wildlife Poaching, human and drug trafficking.

The UDC contends that, “the proposed change of use is and/or was done contrary to the NPF Order and the disbursement made in respect thereof were illegal, unlawful and in breach of a statute. The request aforesaid was purportedly approved by the Ministry of Resources Green Technology and Energy Security without a tender and/or approval of the Public Procurement Asset Disposal Board  and/or contrary to the NP order.”

It is under this background that the party is pleading for: an order directing any person or persons as would have received payment contrary to the terms of the NPF order to return such payments within 30 days of the days of the court order; an order declaring that all the transactions as identified in this dispute were done contrary to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board and consequently null and void, and cost of suit against any party opposing the claim.

“On February 1, 1986, the NPF order was established. The purpose of the fund is set out in Section 3 thereof and it is mainly to meet the engineering, construction and operational costs of the strategic storage facilities for government fuel; purchase petrol products for the government’s strategic oil stocks; stabilize prices charged by the oil industry and meet insurance premiums in respect of the insurance of government’s strategic oil installation and oil stocks,” states UDC in their papers.

The fund is in terms of the Act administered by a management committee which comprises of the following people: the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs who shall be the chairman; a representative of the Department of Energy Affairs, who shall be a member; a representative of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, who shall be a member; the Fund Manager who shall be a member and a representative of the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs who shall be the Secretary.

The funds aforesaid as deposited into the National Petroleum Fund are disbursed solely for the purposes of the following: Costs of the engineering , construction and operation of the strategic storage, and distribution facilities for government fuel; sums of money to the oil industry for the stabilization of prices in respect of petroleum products; such sums of money to the oil industry or consolidated fund as the Minister may from time to time determine; costs of the purchase  of petroleum products for government’s strategic oil stocks; insurance premiums in respect of government’s strategic oil installations and oil stocks; management and audit expenses of the fund; such other sums as the ministry may in writing approve; any supplies payments made for the fund aforesaid are paid into the consolidated fund-argues UDC.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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