Tuesday, May 18, 2021

BCP probes Kedikilwe’s retirement benefits

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Dumelang Saleshando this week said his party is investigating whether former Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe is a beneficiary of the retirement package through the Green Book.

The Green Book is a schedule that cabinet uses to prescribe a schedule of perks and benefits for its members.
Critics of the instrument however argue that there is legal disability as it has been suggested that Green Book only caters for serving Members of Cabinet.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday Saleshando said “When the late Vice President Mompati Merafhe retired from politics the President(Ian Khama) put together a retirement package through the Green Book. Our view is that the Green Book is not a law through which public resources can be committed for the benefit of individuals.” He added that the BCP later lodged a case with the court to challenge the decision and they have since withdrawn the case.

“We will now seek to establish whether similar benefits have been extended to retired Vice President Kedikilwe. The party legal team will remain seized with the matter and advice on available options to challenge the Green Book,” he said. On the July elective congress to be held in Kanye, Saleshando warned members and structures that the leadership of the party has decided that the recent initiative of party structures to publicly endorse their preferred candidates is not consistent with established party structures and practices.

“Party structures are therefore advised that the practice should come to an end forthwith,” he said. On other issues, Saleshando said his party reported Director of Directorate of Security Service (DIS) to the Financial Intelligence Agency for possible act of money laundering.

“Though the agency acknowledged receipt of our complaint, they did not indicate if they will investigate the issue. We have resolved to engage the agency to ascertain whether the matter is or not under investigation,” he said. Saleshando said they are also yet to receive feedback from the Ombudsman after they had reported President Ian Khama for using a Botswana Defence Force (BDF) plane to participate at the Rasesa Wesbank air show.

“On 23 September 2014 the Ombudsman responded to confirm that they were subjecting our complaint to legal and factual scrutiny and promised to continually update us. No update has been received and the party has sought update from the ombudsman,” he said.

Still on a related matter, Saleshando said they are awaiting a response from Commissioner of Police after they reported what he described as an irregular postponement of the Francistown West by-election. “The Commissioner of Police responded on 3 September advising that investigations on the matter were ongoing and the matter has been referred to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for advice. As of today no update has been received and the party has formally requested an update from the Commissioner,” said Saleshando.

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