Monday, June 1, 2020

Billions of construction tenders steered to companies allegedly linked to Kgosi

BY MPHO KELEBOGE

Preliminary investigations into the nexus of corruption between business and political elites suggests that billions of pula worth of contracts were steered to construction companies with links to former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services Isaac kgosi and his political associates.

With the recent raid on Bango Trading Construction Company by Directorate of Intelligence Services, Botswana Police and Botswana Unified Revenue Services, a pattern is emerging that the investigating triad is targeting overscheduled construction companies with powerful political connections.

Bango Trading Managing Director Moffat James and Estate Construction Managing Director Kegone Sebina who are the most overscheduled contractors in one of the more lucrative sectors of government contracting are reported to have close links to former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi. The pair has already been raided by the investigating team.

Bango Trading and Estate Construction Company who have netted close to P 1, 5 billion government contracts under former President Lt Gen Ian Khama have also been the subject of a parliamentary query because of the many government contracts awarded to them.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa last year expressed concern that the two companies were repeatedly winning multimillion Pula tenders disadvantaging other local competing companies.

Investigators are trying to piece together information that the duo gamed the system through their connections to Kgosi and a number of Cabinet Ministers. It is believed that a portion of the money found its way back to their political handlers.

The team is also investigating report that Given that taxpayers pay for the cost overruns and that public employees never get fired for cost overruns, “strong incentives exist for proponents to strategically misrepresent initial budgets to get a project approved, funded and started, knowing that once work begins, few projects are ever halted.

Bango Trading Managing Director Moffat James said he was surprising at the manner in which BURS attacked them with a team from DISS, Police and DCEC.

James confirmed to the Sunday Standard that Bango was listed in a court order among companies to be investigated for corruption and Tax invasion.

“They were in a possession of a court order to raid companies suspected to be linked to former Spy boss, Isaac Kgosi and my company was listed as among those companies”, said James

”Although I was advised on the merits of the court order, it is unfortunate because they are linking me to Kgosi but I personally don’t know Kgosi and even where he stays. I only know him as a leader but personally I don’t know him and he has never even phone me or instructed any person to solicit anything from my company and I have never had any dealings with him nor his immediate family member and even his friends”, said James

James said the task team demanded some financial accounting files and we gave them everything they want but they decided to walk away with two files and they promise to return them as soon as they have completed their investigations.

”It is not the first time we work with BURS, they always write letters advising on their visit to us and in the past, since 2013-2017 they have audited our books because by then, they instructed us to prepare all relevant documents and we always comply but this time around it was DISS, BURS and others and they just pounced on us unaware and they produce a court order”, said James.

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