Friday, December 4, 2020

A cabinet minister to face corruption charges related to BTC

A decision has been taken to charge a member of cabinet with counts of corruption and conflict of interest.

Information picked by Sunday Standard indicates that the charges relate to tenders that were issued by Botswana Telecommunications Corporation during the construction of the multi-million Pula Trans-Kalahari underground fibre telecommunication project.

Also to be charged is a well known Gaborone businessman who used to sit on the Central Committee of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

Together with a group of other Gaborone business socialites, the duo had undisclosed links to a telecommunications outfit that was one of the main suppliers during the BTC project.

Sunday Standard has names of the minister, the said businessman-cum politician and the company, but has decided to withhold them out of respect for due process.

They are expected to be charged on November 20th.

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime has been investigating the matter for years.
The report spelling out act of ethical impropriety surrounding dealings at BTC was completed two years ago and handed to the then minister of communications, Pelonomi-Venson-Moitoi.

But it was only recently that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions took a decisive step to charge those implicated in the report.

If the minister is ultimately charged, that will make him the third in three years to face corruption charges.

The first was Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Ndelu Seretse who was followed by Ken Matambo, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning.
Both of them were acquitted by the courts.

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