The Directorate on Intelligence and Economic Crime was last week lambasted for failing to bring high profile business and political leaders to book corruption.
This emerged during a consultative meeting hosted by DCEC in Francistown last week. Francistown attorney and Botswana Congress Party parliamentary candidate Morgan Moseki said at the meeting that DCEC is at risk of losing credibility because of their selective prosecution of corrupt people.
“Recent developments in the country are worrying, as there are some people who seem to be immune to the DCEC’s operations. Reports of corruption involving Botswana Democratic Party, De Beers and former President Ketimule Masire are a case in point. Why is the DCEC not investigating allegations of corruption leveled against them?”asked Moseki.
He also said that DCEC is losing credibility as it continues to remain mum amid allegation of money laundering involving DeBeers, BDP and Masire, and other cases of conflict of interest involving Justice Defense and Security Minister Ramadeluka Seretse.
“The DCEC should be sponsoring the motion that compels politicians to declare their assets, as it is in line with their mandate of ensuring transparency and integrity, but they are nowhere to be seen” he said.
Moseki said that there are allegations that political leaders are major shareholders in Chinese companies that have monopolized multi million Pula development projects in Botswana.
He also challenged the DCEC to stop targeting the small man, and investigate high profile corruption.
“Let the police handle the small man. You should go after the big fish as they are the ones who are looting this country” he said.
Moseki also called for the DCEC to be independent of government, as it is only then that they will be able to investigate political leaders.
“The DCEC serves the interests of those in power, as it seems to be shielding them from prosecution. The Director of the DCEC will obviously not sanction investigations against her superiors as she is protecting her job” said Moseki.
Moseki said that it is a shame that the DCEC has not launched investigation into Masire’s dealings with De Beers despite the fact that the two have openly admitted that they used public funds to further their own interests.
Another panelist, Agent Matenje, a Lecturer at the Francistown College of Education (FCE) encouraged DCEC to educate the public about their mandate.
He also said that the use of public assets for personal gain impacts negatively on the image of Botswana.
An investigator at DCEC Andria German however said that they are doing their best to fight corruption. He also admitted that their efforts are constrained by a number of capacity challenges. “We still have a lot to do to educate the public about corruption, and how they can report it,” he said.
German also explained that people should not rush to conclude that DCEC is not investigating corruption, as they have to conduct investigations in secrecy, lest they alert the people whom they are investigating.
“It is true that our investigations are limited by some statues in the laws of Botswana. We hope to engage the public to assist us to persuade government to amend laws that hinder our operations” he said.
He pointed out that through public forums there can be more input on how to persuade the government to amend some of the acts that hinder their service.
“Part of the law prohibits us from investigating ministers without first consulting the speaker of the national assembly” he said.