Tuesday, April 20, 2021

DCEC completes investigations against Czypionka

The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has completed its investigations against Nico Czypionka, the government’s former chief negotiator in attempts to privatise Air Botswana a few years ago.

It is understood that the DCEC has forwarded a docket to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for assessment and in which the DCEC wants the suspect to be charged with possible corruption.

It is reported that the investigations were triggered after it immerged that, during negotiations for the privatisation of Air Botswana, Czypionka clearly had a conflict of interest in the matter.

A reconstruction of his role in the privatization of Air Botswana portrays him as an ingenious deal maker who thought nothing of trampling the norms of doing business at the government enclave.

It is reported that, for example, while Cabinet and Parliament were poring over the 2003 Air Botswana Transition Act, which provided for the registration of the national airline as a public company to be privatized as a going concern, Czypionka had other ideas.

He wanted Air Botswana to be liquidated and the proceeds used to buy shares in SA Airlink, a family owned airliner in South Africa.

In a paper he co-authored with SA Airlink CEO Roger Foster that he presented to Cabinet in April 2006, Czypionka proposed that the process should be speeded up so that it could be concluded by September 2006.

The investigation by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime followed a report lodged by the opposition Botswana Congress Party to the DCEC to investigate possible acts of corruption in the failed privatisation deal between Botswana Government and the South African carrier, SA Airlink.

Asked about the docket sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Public Relations Officer of the DCEC, Lentswe Motshganetsi, said he was unable to comment on the matter since the case is sub judice.

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