The opposition Botswana Congress Party has called on Minister of Finance, Ken Matambo, to resign.
The call comes after Matambo was slapped with a single count of corruption.
In a statement released yesterday, BCP Secretary General, Kesitegile Gobotswang, called on Matambo to resign with immediate effect so as to preserve the dignity of the office he holds.
He added that the corruption charges have rid Matambo of the moral authority to administer Botswana’s coffers.
“It is normal international practice that when there are serious allegations of impropriety against an individual who holds a position of public importance, they should resign for purposes of protecting the integrity of the office,” he said.
Dr. Gobotswang gave an example of the head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn who resigned from his post after being slapped with rape charges.
“Botswana’s ailing global competitiveness is now on intensive care mode. This is on account of the ongoing nationwide public sector strike and a couple of senior ministers charged with corruption. We are experiencing a credibility and governance crisis with far reaching economic, social and political implications,” he said.
He said Matambo’s attitude, in ignoring persistent calls for him to resign, smacks of arrogance and insensitivity.
“The Ministry of Finance and Development is the face of the much acclaimed economic miracle of Botswana. It was until recently the preserve of Vice Presidents of this country. Matambo must show respect for Batswana and protect the image of the country that has severely been dented. He must do the honorable thing and resign with immediate effect to go out and clear his name,” he said.
Matambo is due in court today (Tuesday) to answer to a single count of corruption. The state alleges that between July 1, 2005 and September 30, 2005, while still Managing Director of the Botswana Development Corporation, Matambo acted corruptly by failing to disclose an indirect interest in a company called Tuwana Construction while that company was dealing with BDC.
“At the time, Tuwana Construction was constructing a house on Plot 2433, Extension 9, for Prosperity Holdings, a company owned wholly by Matambo and his wife. When BDC proposed to deal with Tuwana Construction, Matambo knowingly failed to disclose the nature of such interest and participated in the proceedings of BDC corporation relating to such dealing, thereby acting corruptly,” reads part of the charge sheet.
In a previous interview, government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay said Matambo has no plans to resign as there is no law that compels him to do so. So far the Office of the President has not commented on the issue. But there are growing calls on President Ian Khama to ask Matambo to resign or risk being accused of applying double standards.
Khama forced former Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Guma Moyo, to step down after it emerged that he was being investigated for corruption.
The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ndelu Seretse also resigned after he was charged with corruption.