The Ministry of Health erroneously paid a prohibited immigrant over Half a Million Pula in gratuities instead of just about P47 000, and the immigrant is said to be unwilling to refund the excess amount, the Attorney General has revealed.
In a report that was released on Friday this week, the Attorney General revealed that when the service of an expatriate officer who was employed on contract terms by the Ministry as a senior Pharmacist, were terminated prematurely in November 2012 on being declared a prohibited immigrant, an initial attempt to pay her accrued contract gratuity of P47 107.80, in November 2013, through a local commercial bank was not successful as her account had already been closed. However, fresh efforts to pay her in her country of origin of Kenya, in March 2014 resulted in the same amount being erroneously denominated in foreign currency as USD 47 107.80, which translated to P504 276.29 in her favour. In the event, the resultant overpayment was P457 168.09.
The report states that, when the fact of the overpayment was drawn to her attention and a refund sought, some 11 months later in February 2015, the ex employee’s response was defiant to the effect that the blame must lie with the Ministry officers who did the calculations and made the payment. She reportedly said she did nothing wrong and further that in any case she did not have that kind of money. According to the report, the tenor of the response implied that she might not be willing to cooperate with the effort to recover the overpayment.
While it is clear that the Kenyan has unjustly benefited and should refund the money overpaid, the Auditor General suggested that the Ministry Officers should also be held primarily accountable for this state of affairs, which resulted in a loss of public funds from lack of diligence in the performance of their duty.
“At the time of writing this report, I was not aware of any progress made in this matter,” the Auditor General further stated.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.