Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri has warned people working in the public service to desist from corrupt practices which have recently become rife.
He said Batswana are known worldwide as a peaceful nation who also shun corruption and look up with high regard to their leadership, the reason why the country was ranked among the least corrupt.
Matlhabaphiri was speaking in Maun this week┬áat a day to commemorate the International Anti Corruption day which is in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), as organised by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).
The Assistant Minister said it has been apparent that continuous failure by people in leadership positions to meet their subordinates’ expectations has always influenced bribery and corruption in day to day business dealings, adding that every bribe paid represents a hidden tax on the cost of doing business, thus impeding economic growth.
“It is therefore important that good administrative and management systems are introduced to ensure good governance, integrity, good character and knowledge as these would bring meaningful development to the nation at large. Today’s commemorations aim to bring together both national and international communities that share a common goal towards the fight against corruption, as well as to celebrate the significant strides that have been made against corruption in the previous year. We also need to appreciate the nature of the contemporary society that is united and have a mutual commitment to transparency and accountability so as to eliminate these societal disorders,” he said.
Maun has over the years been ranked one of the most corrupt areas in most forums hosted by the DCEC, and it is here that senior governmental officials at various government departments and the private sector have always seen themselves on the wrong side of the law, at times facing dismissal from work.
The recent and most dramatic was a dismissal from work of a Maun DCEC boss who was found guilty of conniving with accused persons. Tawana land board, Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital and in many instances the North West District Council have also not been spared.
The council was last┬áyear ordered by the Auditor General’s office to accelerate their efforts to have their books audited. The Senior Assistant Auditor General, David Kandjii,had complained then that unlike other councils, the NWDC was very slow in getting its house in order.
Also speaking at the commemorations was Erica Ndlovu from the DCEC who said amongst the many other contributions to the global anti-corruption efforts by Botswana, the DCEC has been conducting assignment studies in all sectors, except one on climate change for the past 10 years. In a quest to rid the country of corruption, Ndlovu said the directorate submitted an Expression of Interest-Country level Anti Corruption Project in the Health Sector on 31st August 2013 to the UNDP’s headquarters in New York through collaboration with the local UNDP office.
“The DCEC has previously employed corruption prevention interventions, and continues to do so to date. These include corruption prevention committees, risk or vulnerability assessment and Anti Corruption Unit, all of which are meant to review compliance policies, rules and regulations within all sectors, including health. I want to urge all of you here to form collaboration with DCEC and other of its stakeholders to have a crime free Botswana,” said Ndlovu.