Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane
An Assistant District Commissioner in the Central District has filed a chilling letter detailing what she describes as ‘maladministration’ in the Central District at the District Commissioner’s office. The letter is currently making life very uncomfortable in the office of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane.
“Firstly there are several issues which I am alive to which border on maladministration that I have stood against, which without doubt contributed to this transfer; therefore transferring me is a desperate attempt to silence me. This maladministration practices will be elaborated at a later stage,” writes Mphoyaone Seokamo, an Assistant District Commissioner based in Palapye.
After stating her case against a forced transfer, Seokamo goes on to elaborate on a number of instances where she was instructed to make unprocedural payments and refused. “I was requested by my supervisor (names withheld) to write a letter to Supplies Office to request for direct appointment of a company (name withheld) to clear the District Commissioner’s official residence contrary to financial instruction. I did not accede to the instruction as I was not comfortable with being involved in malpractices and this did not sit well with my boss,” she wrote.
Despite Seokamo’s defiance, on the 25th September 2014, a gentleman who identified himself as coming from the company that was directly appointed by Seokamo’s boss came to drop a quotation at the instruction of the DC indicating that he carried out some work.
Seokamo and the Supplies office refused to authorise any payment to the company. On the 26th September 2014 the said Supervisor drafted a sample letter and instructed Seokamo to type it and sign it, but she refused to the displeasure of the DC.
She in fact avoided signing the letter for a whole month until the boss took the initiative to sign after the company threatened to ‘spill the beans’ on the deal. The Assistant District Commissioner was made to sign the GPO (Government Purchase Order) despite being warned by colleagues and payment was effected to the company.
At a later date Seokamo’s Supervisor once again requested the office to seek a quotation for an alarm to be installed at her residence. She was however informed by the Supplies Office that there is no provision for installation of alarms for the DC, “We even requested the ADC to inquire with the Ministry before making any decision. According to ADC her supervisor indicated that she will pay for herself. I notified them that we are still going to have a serious audit query concerning for the relocation of the DC residence and advised them that other senior officials had installed alarms without the involvement of the office but the Assistant District Commissioner insisted that we do as the Supervisor requested and gave the Supplies office a go ahead. After installation we were forced to prepare a GPO to pay for the alarm, exactly what I anticipated would happen. I was not comfortable singing the GPO and this again did not sit well with my boss. However the GPO was signed by another officer and I signed the payment at the instruction of my boss,” wrote Seokamo.
According to Seokamo, her supervisor once forced them to buy her office furniture from Mandarin Furniture shop without evaluating quotations. “We went to Gaborone with her to choose the furniture and three of us were sleeping in a hotel for three days sourcing quotations. Despite the fact that we sourced quotations, direct procurement was made at the insistence of my Supervisor which is contrary to supplies and financial regulations. The DC also instructed supplies office to buy her bulbs (16) from KEBO Electrical Gaborone for her house.”
In another startling allegation Seokamo states in the letter that her Supervisor is supposed to pay monthly house rentals amounting to P1800 but she is paying P800 for the house, “an investigation can be instituted to validate this information,” she wrote.
On the 16-17th April 2014 she booked accommodation at Mondior Hotel claiming to have a meeting with the permanent secretary of Local Government, to our dismay we discovered that the permanent secretary was not in Gaborone then, instead she had no meeting with the permanent secretary yet she used government funds. “An investigation can be instituted to validate this information,” she stresses in her letter.
“It is worth noting that my boss is not leading by example as she comes late to work around 10 am, she spends most of her time outside the office doing her own things, sometimes she does not come to work completely and usually no one in the office knows her whereabouts. She only comes to the office when there is a pressing issue that needs to be attended to or when she knows His Excellency the President is touring the District…” states Seokamo.
The detailed letter by Seokamo to the Minister also details reasons why she should not be transferred. Furthermore she alleges nepotism in the office, she states that junior officers have been promoted to positions they do not qualify for. According to Seokamo the education and health of her child has been overlooked when her forced transfer was plotted, “the transfer is not justified, they just want to silence me because I speak out against maladministration,” she wrote.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane confirmed receiving the letter but will not discuss its contents. The concerned supervisor refused to discuss the matter with WeekendPost indicating that government general orders do not allow her to talk to the press.
She had initially granted this publication a response through which she categorically denied most of the allegations made against her. She had indicated that at the time she arrived in the central district the concerned officer was already transferred, hence her allegations against her are only an attempt to divert attention from her pending transfer.
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.