Wednesday, January 27, 2021

BMC report ready in November- Reatile

The chairman of the parliamentary select committee tasked with investigating the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and the declining beef industry in the country, Mephato Reatile says the committee will table a report of their findings before Parliament during the November session.
“That’s all I can say. The report will be ready in November,” he said declining to give further details.
The BMC enquiry which was held in public was characterised by accusations and counter ÔÇô accusations levelled against different players in the beef industry.
At the height of the hearing, the Minister of Agriculture, Christian De Graaf was blamed for the decline of the beef industry and the maladministration at BMC; but he refused to take the blame. 
He was also accused of appointing his cronies to the board and sidelining competent individuals.
Former BMC Chairman, Botsile Gubago who testified before the committee said De Graaf brought in a number of board members who undermined the BMC and opened the door for political interference.??Former BMC Finance Manager, Mpho Gabonewe, on the other hand detailed how the BMC board connived to milk the commission. He told the committee how the board had turned into a talk shop that would convene for days on end with the sole purpose of increasing sitting allowance claims for board members.?
During the course of the enquiry, Sunday Standard investigations turned up information that BMC could not account for an undisclosed sum, believed to be running into millions of Pula, stashed in a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands, a diminutive tax haven renowned for clandestine financial activity.??The secret bank account has been opened under Mainline Carriers, the only BMC subsidiary company in Botswana. Sunday Standard turned up information that BMC auditors ÔÇô Deloitte & Touch├® – have for the past five years been unable to audit accounts of Mainline Carriers because important documents cannot be traced, especially those relating to the secret bank account in the Cayman Islands. ??

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