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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’.

The contradictions

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”.   

General membership

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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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021
Botswana-economic-recovery-depends-on-successful-vaccine-rollout---BoB-

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021
Inside-the-UB-BDF-fighter-Jet-tragedy-report

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021
JAKO HUBONA

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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