The Ministry of Home Affairs is busy formulating legislation that will address money laundering in churches. This was revealed by the Minister of Home Affairs Peter Siele, who said that his ministry is drafting legislation to counter money laundering in suspect churches that have mushroomed in Botswana.
Siele also revealed that the new legislation will strengthen regulations governing registration of societies.
Government’s move comes after concerns were raised that a number of churches operating in the country, especially those operated by foreigners, collect a lot of money from their congregations and then send it outside the country.
“I am aware of certain churches that are involved in money laundering. This is a criminal offense that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible,” said Siele.
The draft legislation will later be presented to cabinet.
University of Botswana lecturer, Dr Fidelis Nkomasana, welcomed the new legislation, saying that the current act is too old and needs to be reviewed.
“Currently it is very easy to register a church in Botswana, as one only needs to have ten people,” he said.
He also suggested that government should deal with the issue of breakaway churches as that will also reduce the mushrooming of churches in Botswana.
Reverend Aupa Rantshole, of Dayspring Christian Church, also said that the review is long overdue.