Monday, May 17, 2021

Former roads department director’s corruption case to open can of worms

Former Director in the Department of Roads, Kabo Kote is expected to be arraigned before the courts of law to answer to charges of corruption before the end of the year.

 

The Directorate of public Prosecution confirmed last week that they had received Kote’s docket from the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and are currently studying it.

 

The case is expected to provide a peep show into the dirty dealings inside the government procurement process, implicating a number of big shots in the civil service and construction industry.

It is understood that DCEC recently approached the DPP inquiring about progress on the case, as the corruption busting agency was worried that no action had been taken on the matter even though the case was forwarded to the public prosecutor two years ago.

The DCEC investigated Kote for approving a P23 million claim for delays lodged by Sinohydro for the Kang- Hukuntsi road. It is understood that Kote overruled the project consulting engineers, Bothakga BurrowÔÇôBinnie, who had only approved payment of P400, 000 for the delays, and gave Synohydro P23 million.

The claim was halted after the consulting engineers asked the Permanent Secretary to intervene. The Kang-Hukuntsi project has always been a lightning rod of controversy after it came to light that government paid Sinohydro about P200 million more than the going rate for its construction. In another project that was investigated by the DCEC, Kote is alleged to have approved a P17 million project delay claim lodged by Arab Contractors for the Dibete ÔÇô Mahalapye project. Again the project consulting engineer, Bothakga BurrowÔÇôBinnie opposed the huge claim and was overruled. The claim has also not been disbursed. The former Director is also alleged to have received huge amounts of money from Abu Dhabi that was deposited in to his local bank account.

In a brief interview, acting-Director of DPP Kabo Leinaeng confirmed that the prosecutor has received Kote’s investigation docket from DCEC and was still studying it.

“We are busy studying the docket and we will shortly make a decision. I wouldn’t want to preempt what action will be taken,” he said.

 

He further indicated that Kote’s docket is bulky and needs the DPP’s utmost attention.

 

“Generally, the DPP receives dockets and make thorough assessments whether the case has sufficient evidence that can be presented and tested before the courts. If we believe there is insufficient evidence we return the case to DCEC for further investigation,” said Leinaeng.

 

Meanwhile, DCEC spokesperson Nlayidzi Gambule said she could not comment on the matter as it was still under investigation.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper