Wednesday, May 5, 2021

DCEC launches parallel investigations into Statistics Botswana

There is a witch-hunt at Statistics Botswana for those who might have leaked information about the alleged corruption, maladministration, nepotism, misappropriation of funds and failure to follow good practices at Statistics Botswana.

Former Good Hope/Mabule Member of Parliament James Mathokgwane told the committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises that he has been informed that there is a witch-hunt at statistics Botswana for those who might have leaked information.

Mathokgwane was summoned to give evidence before the committee on Monday. The committee is mandated to examine the books of accounts for Statistics Botswana.

Mathokgwane said he undertook an investigation into the matter and during the process of that investigation he discovered that the matter was also reported to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and nothing has been done about the matter.

The chairman of the committee Guma Moyo asked Mathokgwane who reported the matter to DCEC.

“I wouldn’t know who reported the matter to DCEC but I came to know during my investigations that the matter has been reported to DCEC. There is a file on this matter at the DCEC,” he said.

He continued that there is a statement that has been made to DCEC concerning the matter, but he cannot reveal his sources to the committee because he promised them that he will not mention their names. Some of his sources are civil servants and he feared that might put the securities of their jobs at risk.

“I must emphasize that when I say civil servants I do not necessarily mean the staff of Statistics Botswana or the staff of DCEC. I have since come to know that there is witch-hunt at Statistics Botswana for those who might have leaked information,” he said.

Mathokgwane said of late Statistics Botswana has gone to an extent of seeking handwritings of its staff in a bid to determine who might have written a statement that is currently at DCEC.

“This statement from the DCEC, it appears, was authored by one of the staff from Statistics Botswana and as such it now appears as if the person who authored the statement at DCEC is the same person who leaked the information,” he said.

“The statement talks about the un-procedural appointments at Statistics Botswana, who ever made that statement to DCEC must have a name; it is not upon me to reveal that name. It is therefore the responsibility of this committee to seek that information and corroborate with the information that I put before this committee,” Mathokgwane said.

Former MP is of the view that the role of the committee is to investigate. “The fact that I am not revealing my sources should not be the reason not to admit this particular document which is within the files of DCEC. I am saying that should be verified with the DCEC. The DCEC will able to provide this committee a name of the person who authored that statement. It will be highly unethical to say who my sources are,” Mathokgwane further explained why he cannot reveal his sources to the committee.

It was evident that the committee had a brief interaction with the DCEC but DCEC seem to know only about the alleged fraud. They do not know about the whole matter.

“I want to reiterate my statement that this matter was reported at the DCEC. I am surprised that DCEC would deny knowledge of the whole matter,” he said.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper