Thursday, September 24, 2020

Corruption rocks Ministry of State President

The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime has reported that the Ministry of the State President is one of the most corrupt in the country. The DCEC reportedly received some of the highest corruption reports against the ministry in 2009.

A report from the DCEC, showing a summary of reports against all the government ministries from January 1st to December 31st 2009 shows that the Ministry of State President was among the highest ranking, coming third after Local Government and Works and Transport. The Ministry of Local Government recorded 25%, followed by the Ministry of Works and Transport with 12% and the State President with 11%.

The Ministry of State President is made up of three ministries, the Ministry of Justice Defense and Security, the Office of the President and the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. DCEC spokesman, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, told The Telegraph on Monday that a lot of the reports that were filed against the Ministry of State President involved procurement and corruption by public officers.

“The reports that were filed predominantly involved complaints against dubious awarding of tenders and corruption by public officers, where a lot of the officers received bribes for certain favours,” he said.

Motshoganetsi would, however, not elaborate on which particular department had contributed to the increase in instances of corruption.
Asked if he was aware of the reports profiling the Ministry of State President as one of the most corrupt, and to explain what government is doing to root out corruption in the highest office in the land, the Director of the Government Communication and Information Systems, Jeff Ramsay, could not comment, referring all questions to the DCEC.

“I believe these questions can be better handled by DCEC, who are in a better position to know what reports they received, and what actions they have taken if any,” he said.

It is not the first time that officers working under the auspices of the Ministry of State President have been cited for corruption. In 2009 a number of police officers were hauled before the courts of law to answer to charges of corruption, especially receiving bribes. The instances of bribery cases among police officers is especially prevalent in traffic offenses, where a lot of the traffic officers were accused of soliciting bribes in return for trashing traffic fines.

Recently the Minister of Defense Justice and Security, Ndelu Seretse, found himself facing corruption allegations after it emerged that RFT Botswana, a company that he co-owns with his wife, has dealings with Botswana’s security organs.

In his state of the nation address after the opening of parliament, President Ian Khama warned that government will intensify the fight against corruption.

“Corruption is like a cancer that, if not detected and uprooted at the earliest opportunity, can spread throughout our society. Our efforts to fight this crime will therefore be geared to effectively prevent corruption from taking root,” he said.

The DCEC report also states that in 2009, the anti-corruption agency recorded a 39% conviction rate, while 34% were acquitted and 19.5% withdrawn.

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