Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Government losing millions to ghost employees

A good number of government officials are expected to be dragged to court after a marathon investigation that was conducted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime after it emerged that ghost employees had milked the government of millions of pula since year 2002.

Already, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is said to be hit by ghost employees the hardest.

So far one senior government official at the Ministry of Education is alleged to have stolen government funds of over P300 000 using ghost employees.

Information passed to Sunday Standard says that, following the long and extensive investigations carried out at the Ministry of Education, it came to light that some employees will be taken to court after they put ghost employees onto government pay roll.

It is understood that most the ghost employees are relatives or friends to the suspects.
The Public Relations Officer at the DCEC, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said that it was not possible to discuss the cases since they were already before a court of law.

When contacted for comment, the Minister of Education, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, referred the paper to her Permanent Secretary who could not be reached at the time of going to press.

Last week Friday, a 46-year-old Senior Personnel Officer appeared before Village Magistrate Court charged with six counts of stealing by a person employed in the Public Service, contrary to Section 271 as read with Section 276 of the Penal Code.

Investigations initiated by the DCEC have revealed that the accused person, Boitshephelo Moreo, on different occasions between January 2002 and December 2002, while an employee of the Teacher Training and Development Department, stole money to the tune of P198 085.38 from Botswana Government.

Moreo is alleged to have deposited the money in segments of between P24 000 and P42 000 into an account with First National Bank Botswana held by one Sephala Mmereki believed to be her relative.
The suspect, who appeared to be calm as charges were read, pleaded not guilty to all six counts.
Addressing the court, the accused said, “I want the court to give at least three months to get legal representation.”

Thata Dibeela of the Directorate of Public Prosecution said there was no money recovered from the bank accounts.

She said the prosecution is expected to bring about 12 witnesses to testify against the suspect.
The suspect, who has not been interdicted yet, is out on ball and is expected to appear again on the 28th of next month.

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