Sunday, January 24, 2021

DCEC probes BR Properties over corruption allegations

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is investigating alleged maladministration and corruption practices at BR Properties ÔÇô a subsidiary of Botswana Railways (BR).

The corruption busting agency is also probing mysterious circumstances surrounding the appointment of the BR Properties managing director (MD) Utllwanag Golebanye.

Information passed to the Sunday Standard suggests the DCEC is probing allegations of corruption that has rocked BR Properties. Several key employees have since been interrogated. It is understood that the managing director was allegedly appointed under dubious circumstances.

It is further understood that some whistle blowers have been threatened that they would be fired from work. 

Last November a group of informants filed a report with the DCEC detailing alleged corrupt practices at BR Properties.

Responding to the Sunday Standard queries, BR Properties spokesperson Karabo Lewatle confirmed the investigations.

“Indeed the DCEC has interviewed members of the organization,” said Lewatle.

He said DCEC officials were questioning the circumstances surrounding Golebanye’s appointment as well as his benefits. They include housing allowance and a credit card issued to him.

He revealed that the MD has not yet been interviewed by the DCEC.

Lewatle added that the Board Chairperson, Dr Boipuso Nkwae, is aware of “these allegations and welcomes the investigation by either the DCEC or the media as this will give the public a chance to see how well BR Properties is run and how all its work is above board.”

He explained that Golebanye occupied the position as acting director for a long time and was appointed to the position on the 28th of last May.

Lewatle claimed that sometime around the 23rd May 2018 while acting, he was offered a position by the BITC as a Director Property Services.

He further claimed that “the offer by BITC was placed before the Board of BR Properties by MD and the Board resolved to counter that offer”.

Regarding the benefits, Lewatle stated that the MD’s credit card is allocated P2, 500.00 monthly claiming First National Bank statements can show the card has been used strictly for work related expenditures.

He added that the director also qualifies for housing allowances amounting to P5 000 monthly and alleged that in the past there was a clerical error in which there was overpayment at the instance of the Human Resources Department.

“This issue has been addressed internally with the organization recouping the money. The MD will pay back,” Lewatle said.

The DCEC spokesperson Phakamile Kraai said “the DCEC has received several allegations regarding matters of corruption pertaining to Botswana Railways. We are currently at a stage where we cannot divulge any information on these cases.”

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