Monday, July 15, 2024

BLP calls for probe into De Beers operations

Botswana Labour Party (BLP) is calling for a Commission of enquiry on the operations of De Beers Mining Company in Botswana.

In a statement, the company said reports have been circulating that the De Beers Mining Company owes the BURS the sum of at least P4 Billion in taxes. Apparently, the company has been lowering its tax liabilities in the country thus depriving Batswana potential developmental fiscals. It says the allegations made by the African Tax Academy as indicated in a recent Mmegi article shows a company that is intentional in defrauding the tax system of Botswana by creatively syphoning off funds to its parent company in England.

“The De Beers UK is alleged to have needlessly charged the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales PTY LTY, its Botswana surrogate company, thus making those costs tax deductible. It is possible that the amount of money that the DBGSS has taken out of the country at the expense of the public purse could be in the region of 7 billion,” the statement says.

The statement says this is income that could be used for building clinics, buying of medicines, fixing of roads and in the process creating jobs for Batswana.

“We believe that over the years the De Beers-Botswana mining agreement has been unfairly in favour of the former. This is now compounded by the fact that De Beers does not seem to be playing fair as it is alleged to be constructively reducing its tax Bill,” said the statement.

The statement; “We call on Parliament to establish a commission of inquiry with the view to ascertaining the veracity of the allegation of manipulatively lowering its tax liabilities by De Beers, Botswana.”

The enquiry will also need to ascertain whether the P4 billion bill has ever been charged against the DBGSS by BURS, and what happened thereafter. Botswana Labour Party demands fair and transparent dealings with De Beers, under the oversight of Parliament.

The BPF said the company should not be allowed to ride roughshod over us like it did during the times of the late Louis Nchindo when, together with the BDP, it engaged in mischievous political adventures that set the country back by decades.

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