BOFEPUSU accounts smack of untidy paper trail
BOPEU President Andrew Motsamai
At least one hundred cheques are reportedly missing from the account books of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) and are yet to be accounted for, the union has confirmed.
The cheques whose amount has not been made public are said to have mysteriously disappeared during the reign of the former leader of the Union, Andrew Motsamai of the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU).
BOFEPUSU’s Treasurer General, Moses Monnatsie told a press conference this week that the Standard Chartered Bank’s serialised cheque book numbered in the order of 100-600 cheques has its serialised bank cheques starting from 200-300 missing. He also revealed that BOFEPUSU has requested Standard Chartered bank to assist in furnishing it with information regarding the missing cheques.
However a leaked copy of the final comments of the Auditor’s which this publication is in possession of suggests that the said missing cheques were not used.
“It was observed that the cheque books from the banks were not in serial number order. Cheques for years 2010 to 2015 ranges from 100-600. Of this 200-300 is not used,” the copy reads in part.
The leaked report further reveals that many cheque payment vouchers were not signed and authorised.
BOFEPUSU’s Treasurer General, Monnatsie did collaborate the revelation during the press conference when he said, “voucher payments whose movement cannot be traced because they might have not been signed for or authorised or have simply been siphoned also tainted the complexion of the audit.”
In addition to the missing cheques BOFEPUSU is said to have been characterised by three years of “management grounded in poor accounting principles’ from the years 2010 to 2012.
Monnatsie further said that the labour federation’s audited books from the years 2010 right through to 2012, a period the current BOPEU President Andrew Motsamai wheeled command of BOFEPUSU secretariat, have all been declared ‘not in good standing’.
Monnatsie also suggested that the lack of financial instruments used in institutional management such as a well demarcated budget as well as a finance policy further contributed to the audit, carried out by a local Audit firm rendering Motsamai’s leadership as “not in good standing”.
He further revealed that the financial audit of the said years declared, ‘not in good standing’ earned the categorisation because it has been found that there had been an improper management of ‘petty cash’ compounded by the unavailability of its summaries.
He however said that the financial audit for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 after the departure of Motsamai from the BOFEPUSU secretariat, have all been declared to be ‘in good standing’.
Nonetheless, a leaked audit report titled “Audit of the annual financial statements for the years 2011-2015” dated 06 November 2015 by a local Auditing company runs contrary to the BOFEPUSU version of audit.
The report pokes holes into BOFEPUSU’s version of events, collectivising the pitfalls of its treasury without apportioning blame along the lines of regimes.
The report states that, “our year-end audit procedure revealed that the status of the accounting records were good. However during the course of audit we noted certain matters.”
Contrary to the BOFEPUSU timeline of events the audit states that,” it is observed that proper petty cash summary were not available from April 2015 onwards.”
The same audit that revealed that the alleged missing one hundred cheques were not used observed that, “there were other receipts amounting to P101 9000 during the year.
Confirmation is needed that these are donations for specific purposes and they are not a part of subscription advances.”
Also parallel to the account of BOFEPUSU the audit says, “it was observed that budgets were not available for the period under audit and for the subsequent period.”
The Auditors further recommended that BOFEPUSU provide them with, “reconciliation of the number of unions from 2010 to 2015 and the number of members for the said period”, so as to balance the numbers.
The audit added that, “it was observed that the title deed of the (BOFEPUSU) building was in the name of UNIGEM.”It continues to say that, “it is advised that BOFEPUSU should have a bond over the plot as the title deed is not vested in its name.”
Asked to comment Monnatsie could neither deny nor confirm if the leaked audit report is an authentic BOFEPUSU audit only saying, “I know the information you are talking about but I do not know if it is our audit report because I did not give it to you.”
Monnatsie said that when procuring its building BOFEPUSU channelled its UNIGEM dividends into buying BOFEPUSU house and when they could not raise the whole amount UNIGEM supplemented the figure hence the title deed being under the name of UNIGEM. He continued that if BOFEPUSU is to take the building under its name it has to buy out UNIGEM. He also countered that contrary to the leaked audit BOFEPUSU has its own budget policy. He said that no company runs without a budget, more so that “we have employees”.
BOFEPUSU General Secretary Tobokani Rari also said that the financial audit has been presented before the federation’s National Governing Council (NGC) in its Palapye retreat the past weekend.
The BOFEPUSU National Governing Council (NGC) comprises of BOFEPUSU executive council as well as the top 4 union czars of all BOFEPUSU affiliated trade unions. He also said that the NGC which is the federation’s second highest decision making body has reaffirmed the ideal of lending support to political parties that hold an attractive outlook for the livelihoods of the workers.
He continued that contrary to media reports, all BOFEPUSU affiliates remain members in good standing-contributing and playing part in all its activities except for BOPEU which the NGC officially accepted its disaffiliation late last year.
Meanwhile BOPEU’s President, Andrew Motsamai said that he has not yet seen the BOFEPUSU audit and therefore could not respond directly to it. He said that it would be nicer and courteous of BOFEPUSU to avail the audit report to them as they once were contributors to the federation.
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The curtain came down at the PAP session with pomp and FUNFAIR
It was pomp and funfair at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on March 18 as the African Cultural Music and Dance Association (ACUMDA) brought the curtains down on the PAP session with a musical performance.
The occasion was the celebration of the Pan-African Parliament Day (PAP Day) which commemorated the inauguration of the first Parliament of the PAP on 18 March 2004 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The celebrations took place at the seat of the Parliament in Midrand to “reflect on the journey” as the institution turns 19. The event sought to retrace the origin and context of the establishment of the PAP.
The celebrations included musical performances by ACUMDA and a presentation by Prof. Motshekga Mathole of the Kara Heritage Institute on “Whither Pan-Africanism, African Culture, and Heritage.”
The PAP Day was officially launched in 2021 to educate citizens about the Continental Parliament and ignite conversations about its future in line with its mandate.
The establishment of the PAP among the AU organs signalled a historical milestone and the most important development in the strengthening of the AU institutional architecture. It laid solid groundwork for democratic governance and oversight within the African Union system and provided a formal “platform for the peoples of Africa to get involved in discussions and decision-making on issues affecting the continent.”
The genesis of the PAP can be legally traced back to 1991 with the adoption of the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community, adopted on June 3, 1991, in Abuja (also known as the Abuja Treaty). This treaty defined the pillars and grounds for realizing economic development and integration in Africa and called for the creation of a continental parliament, among a set of other organs, as tools for the realization of African integration and economic development. This call was reemphasized in the Sirte Declaration of 1999, which called for the accelerated implementation of the provisions of the Abuja Treaty.
PAP celebrated its ten years of existence in March 2014, a year which coincided with the adoption, on June 27, 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP Malabo Protocol), which, once in force, will transform the PAP into a legislative body of the AU. It requires a minimum of 28 countries to ratify it before it comes into force.
Therefore, the commemoration of PAP Day serves as a reminder to the decision-makers around the continent to fulfil their commitment to the PAP by ratifying its Protocol, 19 years after sanctioning its establishment. 14 AU member states have so far ratified the Malabo Protocol.
The celebrations of PAP Day coincided with the closing ceremony of the sitting of the PAP Permanent Committees and other organs. The Sitting took place in Midrand, South Africa under the AU theme for 2023, “Accelerating the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)” from 6 to 17 March 2023.
PAP President, H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira, expressed appreciation to members for their commitment during the two-week engagement.
“We have come to the end of our program, and it is appropriate that we end on a high note with the PAP Day celebrations.
“We will, upon your return to your respective countries, ensure that the work achieved over the past two weeks is transmitted to the national level for the benefit of our citizens,” concluded H.E. Chief Charumbira.
PAP needs to priorities land issues-Prof Mathole
Prof Motshekga Mathole of the Kara Heritage Institute has advised the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) to prioritise the land issue in the continent if they are to remain relevant.
He said this while addressing the Plenary during the commemoration of PAP Day held at the PAP Chambers in Midrand, South Africa
The PAP Day was officially launched in 2021 to commemorate the inauguration of the first Parliament on 18 March 2004 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Intended as a platform for people of all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on problems and challenges facing the continent.
In a speech titled “Whither Pan-Africanism, African Culture, and Heritage,” Prof Mathole stated that for PAP to remain relevant, it must address the continent’s key land dilemma, which he feels is the core cause of all problems plaguing the continent
“If this Parliament is to be taken seriously, ownership of land and natural resources must be prioritized at the national and continental levels. Africans are not poor; they are impoverished by imperialist nations that continue to hold African land and natural resources,” said Prof Mathole.
“When African leaders took power from colonialists, they had to cope with poverty, unemployment, and other issues, but they ignored land issues. That is why Africa as a whole is poor today. Because our land and minerals are still in the hands of colonizers, Africa must rely on Ukraine for food and Europe for medical.”
Prof Mathole believes that the organization of the masses is critical as cultural revolution is the only solution to Africa’s most problems.
“We need a cultural revolution for Africa, and that revolution can only occur if the masses and people are organized. First, we need a council of African monarchs since they are the keepers of African arts, culture, and heritage. We need an African traditional health practitioners council because there is no ailment on the planet that cannot be healed by Africans; the only problem is that Africans do not harvest and process their own herbs,” he said.
Meanwhile, PAP President, H.E. Hon Chief Fortune Charumbira expressed satisfaction with the commitment displayed throughout the two-week period and said the PAP Day celebrations were befitting curtains down to the august event.
“On this high note of our two-week engagement, it is appropriate that we close our program on a high note with PAP celebrations, and I would like to thank everyone for your commitment, and please continue to be committed,” said H.E Hon Chief Charumbira.
PAP’s purpose as set out in Article 17 of the African Union Constitutive Act, is “to ensure the full participation of African people in the development and economic integration of the continent”. As it stands, the mandate of the Parliament extends to consultation and playing an advisory and oversight role for all AU organs pending the ratification protocol.
Also known as the Malabo Protocol, the Protocol to the consultative act of the AU relating to the PAP was adopted at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government summit in June 2014 and is intended to extend the powers of the PAP into a fully-fledged legislative organ. It requires a minimum of 28 countries to ratify it before it comes into force.
The commemoration of the PAP Day, therefore, serves as a reminder to the decision-makers around the continent to fulfil their commitment to the PAP by ratifying its Protocol, 17 years after sanctioning its establishment. 14 AU member states have so far ratified the Malabo Protocol.
The PAP Day commemoration also aims to educate citizens about the PAP and ignite conversations about the future of the continental Parliament in line with its mandate.
DPP drops Kably threat to kill case
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/Lephephe Liakat Kably has welcomed the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s decision not to prosecute BDP councillor, Meshack Tshenyego who allegedly threatened to kill him. However, the legislator has warned that should anything happen to his life, the state and the courts will have to account.
In an interview with this publication, Kablay said he has heard that the DPP has declined to prosecute Tshenyego in a case in which he threatened to kill him adding that the reasons he received are that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. “I am fine and at peace with the decision not to prosecute over evidential deficits but I must warn that should anything happen to my life both the DPP and the Magistrate will have to account,” Kablay said.
Connectedly, Kably said he has made peace with Tshenyego, “we have made peace and he even called me where upon we agreed to work for the party and bury the hatchet”.
The DPP reportedly entered into a Nolle Prosequi in the matter, meaning that no action would be taken against the former Letlhakeng Sub-district council chairperson and currently councillor for Matshwabisi.
According to the charge sheet before the Court, councilor Tshenyego on July 8th, 2022 allegedly threatened MP Kably by indirectly uttering the following words to nominatedcouncilor Anderson Molebogi Mathibe, “Mosadi wa ga Liakat le ban aba gagwe ba tsile go lela, Mosadi wame le banake le bone ba tsile go lela. E tla re re mo meeting, ka re tsena meeting mmogo, ke tla mo tlolela a bo ke mmolaya.”
Loosely translated this means, Liakat’s wife and children are going to shed tears and my wife and kids will shed tears too. I will jump on him and kill him during a meeting.
Mathibe is said to have recorded the meeting and forwarded it to Kably who reported the matter to the police.
In a notice to the Magistrate Court to have the case against Tshenyego, acting director of Public Prosecutions, Wesson Manchwe cited the nolle prosequi by the director of public prosecution in terms of section 51 A (30) of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana as reasons for dropping the charges.
A nolle prosequi is a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.
“In pursuance of my powers under section 51 A (300 of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana, I do hereby stop and discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused Meshack Tshenyego in the Kweneng Administrative District, CR.No.1077/07/2022 being the case of the State vs Tshenyego,” said Manchwe. The acting director had drafted the notice dropping the charges on 13th day of March 2023.
The case then resumed before the Molepolole Magistrate Solomon Setshedi on the 14th of March 2023. The Magistrate issued an order directing “that matters be withdrawn with prejudice to the State, accused is acquitted and discharged.”