Thursday, March 30, 2023

BDP uses Ipelegeng money to fund election campaign ÔÇô claim

The Gaborone West Police Station and the Gaborone City Council (GCC) are sitting on reports that a man linked to one of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate for the 2014 election was paid by Ipelegeng to push the party campaign in Gaborone Bonnington South constituency.

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that a number of Ipelegeng employees made sworn statements at Gaborone West Police Station, but no case has been opened against the culprits.

It is understood that more than P 2 million from the P17, 9 million that was awarded to the Ipelegeng Programme in Gaborone cannot be accounted for.

An Ipelegeng employee who reported the matter to Gaborone City Council (GCC), Precious Tshiamo told this publication that sometime this year, one Siele from GCC who she understand to be the brother to the Minister of local government Peter Siele briefed Ipelegeng workers about the over two million that was missing from the 17.9 that was awarded to Ipelegeng program.

“At the time he said they had a problem establishing how the money was used. He then advised us that we should report any suspicious acts of corruption. He stated clearly that there are those who are being paid but not employed under Ipelegeng program,” she said.

Tshiamo said at the time she knew of the BDP council candidate’s cousin named Motana who they only saw on pay day collecting his salary though he never reported for duty at Ipelegeng program.

“I was sure he was not part of the team that I was working with. I reported the issue to one Maoto at the Ministry of Local Government who advised me to take the matter to GCC Deputy town clerk Kabasiya. I went to Kabasiya to inform him that there was a certain Motana who has been paid by Ipelegeng program since 2013 but was not reporting for duty. Deputy town clerk promised to send delegates to investigate the matter,” she said.

She said after reporting the matter she went back and a week later they were asked to make statements testifying that Motana was not employed by Ipelegeng. The statements were stamped at Gaborone West Police.

“After we submitted our statements they promised to call us again but they never did. Recently I made a follow up with the Deputy town clerk about the matter and he told me that, “aagh kana mothoyoo madomkgrag baleditse bare batlamoduelela madi a antseng a amogela a sabereke” (The BDP called and offered to refund the money paid to the man who earned a wage from Ipelegeng although he never reported for duty.)

She said that the Deputy town clerk told her that the case was being handled by the council lawyer and that Tshiamo should back off.

“I then went back to Maoto who advised that the Deputy town clerk was the only one who could deal with the matter,” said Tshiamo.

GCC town Clerk Mathe confirmed the case but denied that more than two million Pula from Ipelegeng funds could not be accounted for.

“Unfortunately on our side we rely on their supervisors, they are the ones who record every employee who report for work. The issue rose sometimes back after he has been paid. We went back to the Ipelegeng employees and they wrote affidavits, unfortunately most of them indicated that he had been reporting for work. The issue became difficult because we had to go with the majority and rely on the information provided by his supervisor,” he said.

Mathe said Tshiamo could have misunderstood the issue of the missing two million. Tshiamo on the other hand insists that the town clerk and his deputy are trying to hide the information about the missing funds.

GCC mayor Haskins Nkagiwa confirmed that in the past they experienced cases where people just registered for Ipelegeng and came on the pay day to claim their cheques. “I thought the matter was addressed, the concern at the time was misappropriation of funds and it was established that there were ghost employees.


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