The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has called on the embattled leader of opposition Otsweletse Moupo to disclose the identity of his financiers.
This, says the BDP would be keeping in line with decades old demands by the Botswana National Front on the BDP to always disclose not only the identity of financiers but also the conditions for releasing the funds.
The BNF president has lately been a button of controversy following a series of exposes over his financial indebtedness.
Bur recently Moupo has been able to raise large sums of cash to settle a good portion of his debts including at his legal practice.
Moupo has had to take a six week sabbatical leave to get enough time to sort out his problems.
BDP Deputy Executive Secretary Fedelis Molaodi said in an interview that they are not only shocked at Moupo’s failure to say where he “suddenly” got the money, but at the media’s apparent complicity in Moupo’s action by failing to take him to task.
“This is particularly important given that Moupo wants to become president of Botswana. The issue is even more serious given that the money is for his personal use and not for the party. It is therefore important that the public is told whether this was a loan or a donation and what the conditions are,” said Molaodi.
Molaodi has not spared the media.
“Nobody in the media has posed serious questions as to how Moupo accumulated so much debt. What did he do with monies deposited in his trust accounts?
Where did he suddenly get all the money to pay off his debts in six weeks a feat he failed in his life time as a lawyer? What’s in it for anonymous financiers? Why did he misappropriate public funds given that trust funds are not his personal funds?
His party has always preached transparency why does he not disclose the identity of his financiers so that he lives up to his party’s teachings and principles?”
Molaodi goes as far as to cast doubts on Moupo’s suitability to govern Botswana, just falling short of saying the BNF president had either mortgaged the BNF or the country to financiers in exchange for money.
Renewed calls for disclosure of the identity of party financiers comes in the wake of a new study by Botswana’s organised business (BOCCIM) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime which found out that such financing often comes at huge costs to both democracy and good governance.
The study found that there is always a danger when there is an expectation by large donors of a favour or benefit in exchange for their donation.
“Such favours may be in the form of favourable policies or actions by the government in helping the donor evade certain obligations, such as tax, meeting project specifications, or turning a blind eye to activities that harm the environment.”
“The result is that it is society as a whole that finally pays a high price in the form of public buildings constructed below specifications or poor workmanship or damage to the environment,” continues the report.