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DCEC mops-out YDF corruption mess

DCEC boss Rose Seretse

Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is undertaking a clean-up campaign on multiple corruption cases that are alleged to have engulfed the Youth Development Fund (YDF) at the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture (MYSC).


WeekendPost has established that YDF has become a haven for a beehive of corruption allegations purported by gullible Ministry employees as well as unscrupulous youth applicants who are desperate for the funds.
It is understood that some employees tasked with the implementation of the YDF connive with the fund applicants and loot the government coffers of money spanning in millions fraudulently.


YDF is an empowerment programme aimed at promoting active participation of youth in the socio-economic development of the country. It encourages the out-of-school, marginalised and unemployed youth to venture into sustainable and viable income generating projects.


Information reaching this publication however suggests that corruption is rife at all stages and present loopholes for Ministry staff to connive with applicants who either do not meet the application requirements and/or if they satisfied the requirements are poised to rejection during assessment and that decision gets overturned as a consequence of corruption.


Therefore, the corruption busting agency has engulfed the ministry to interrogate the processes, procedures and practices through which YDF is awarded and examine the loopholes which can be a fertile ground for corruption to blossom.


In its effort to clean the mess, the DCEC also aims to deduce remedial and/or preventative recommendations to presumed corruption loopholes, determine guidelines of administering youth development funds-if any and scrutinize the process and criteria of eligibility for YDF as well as inspecting the process of monitoring the projects after award (funding).


Corruption and Economic Crime Act (CECA) of 1994 gives DCEC powers to “examine the practices and procedures of public bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices and to secure the revision of methods of work or procedures which, in the opinion of the Director General, may be conducive to corrupt practices.”


WeekendPost has further gathered that the Ministry officials – who are tasked with the implementation of the YDF – sometimes give conflicting information in terms of the procedure leading to awarding of the funds to beneficiaries.


The turn of events were unearthed this week during YDF audit brainstorming workshop discussions in Gaborone with various stakeholders being YDF beneficiaries, YDF Programme Officers, MYSC Anti-Corruption Unit Coordinators, and District Economic Development Committee representatives.


District Officers and other key staffs had conflicting understanding of procedure pertaining to awarding of funds to beneficiaries from appraisal until the final stage of monitoring and evaluation.  


The initial stage it is understood comprises of appraisal which entails; mobilization, consultation, appraisal, adjudication, funding, procurement (and signing of cheques), appeals upon rejection of proposal, monitoring and evaluation, as well as loan repayments which are said to be flouted to a larger extent.

Under appraisal, there are processes of; invitation of appraisal team, proposal analysis, oral interviews, site assessment and recommendations, and key stakeholders identify the stages as potential for providing more room for crooked and shady practices in relation to the YDF funds.  


“I’m also reliably informed that in quarter one 2015/16 alone, the MYSC Anti-Corruption Unit has recorded a total of five allegations; this excludes those that have been reported directly to other institutions like the DCEC and Botswana Police,” MYSC Deputy Permanent Secretary Peter Mongwaketse asserted in a statement.   

      
According to the DPS: “although the Youth Development Fund Programme was conceptualized to promote entrepreneurship and empowerment of youth, create employment, alleviate poverty and hunger, we are informed that the DCEC continues to register a lot of allegations in this area.”


Mongwaketse said internally, their Anti-Corruption Unit is inundated with complaints and allegations about the programme ranging from favouritism and conflict of interest, deficient monitoring mechanisms during implementation, and noncompliance to guidelines. As a result of in-effectiveness, the Ministry roped-in the DCEC to investigate the matter further and assist wipe out the mess.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

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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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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

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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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