Monday, September 20, 2021

BCP/BAM ask Khama to act against minister Seretse

Following their formal complaint to the Botswana Police and to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), pact partners Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) have made a request for President Ian Khama to relieve Dikgakgamatso Seretse from duty as minister of Defence, Justice and Security pending a possible investigation against him.

The parties want President Khama to take swift action by either removing Seretse from cabinet or redeploying him to another ministry. In a letter addressed to Khama and signed by BCP President Gilson Saleshando and BAM deputy leader Taolo Habana, the parties want Seretse probed for possible insider trading, abuse of office and conflict of interest.

This comes after BCP and BAM filed a complaint with the office of the Commissioner of Police, Thebeyame Tsimako, and Director at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Rose Seretse, against Dikgakgamatso Seretse and his company RFT Botswana alleging corrupt practices.

Seretse and his wife, Sandra Seretse, are directors in RTF Botswana. The parties contend that the company has been awarded tenders to supply security equipment for the Botswana Police, DCEC, Directorate of Intelligence Services and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF).All these state organs fall under Seretse’s ministry.

BCP and BAM allege that Seretse has interest in a company that is supplying the new Police Uniform. The parties allege that the minister as the political head of this departments has an upper advantage when it comes to bidding for tenders in line with tenders from his ministry.

“It is therefore clear that on account of the minster’s position he is privy to crucial information some of which is classified on the budgetary needs and requirements of all departments under his ministry…” reads a complaint attached to the letter addressed to Khama.

“…the clandestine nature of security procurements should never be used as a veil for corrupt and illicit business deals. We also believe that the national security veil should also not be used to prevent the investigation of any suspicious and questionable business deals such as the ones we are complaining about,” it further states.

“We deem the above allegation levelled against Mr Seretse sufficiently serious to warrant a proper and credible investigation with a view to taking appropriate penal action against whomsoever may be on the wrong,” the parties state.

The parties contend that Seretse should be removed from his ministry to allow for the ‘relevant government structures to carry out their investigations without any impediment. However in an interview with this paper DCEC’s Public Relations Officer, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said that he could not confirm or deny that his department had received the complaint.

“I cannot confirm or deny, am still to consult with the director to find out if indeed a complaint has been filed,” he said.

In a separate interview, Police spokesperson, Christopher Mbulawa, said that he was also not in a position to state whether or not his office had received the complaint.

Meanwhile, by the time of going to press, the secretary to the President, Sipho Madisa, was not available for comment.

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