As a matter of courtesy, the Directorate on Public Prosecutions has officially told President Ian Khama that they intend to charge Assistant Minister of Finance, Samson Guma Moyo, with criminal and corruption charges.
The charges are likely to come in the New Year.
President Khama was officially told of the DPP intentions last week Thursday.
The investigations conducted by DCEC (Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime) go as far back as 2004 and pertain to a business transaction under which Moyo’s company, Interest Research Bureau, was contracted at the time to collect money on behalf of the Ministry of Lands.
There was an outcry at the time that Interest Research Bureau had overcharged some landowners, which led to some of them approaching government for refund.
By that time Moyo was not a Member of Parliament, let alone a Minister of State.
During his meeting with DPP, President Ian Khama bluntly told the State Prosecutors that he, while he did not agree with the reasons they were giving him as their grounds for charging Moyo, he was not going to interfere with what were their constitutional duties and responsibilities, as it had always been his wish to maintain the integrity of all the arms of government.
“I wish I had known about this before I appointed him [Moyo] minister” President Ian Khama is said to have rued.
After the meeting with DPP, Khama called Moyo to the Office of the President where he broke the “bad news” to the assistant minister in the company of Vice President Merafhe.
During the trio’s meeting, Khama advised Moyo to step down and cite personal reasons so as to minimize harm to the government.
Moyo rushed to his constituency, Tati East, to share the bad news with his closest political associates, before a public announcement could be made.
But leakages in the state apparatus scuttled the whole plan.
“I was shocked to receive a cell phone message from opposition Member of Parliament, Dumelang Saleshando, seeking confirmation from me if I was indeed stepping down,” Moyo told the Sunday Standard this week.
Faced with potential embarrassment and aware that events were now not only moving faster but also getting out of control, President Khama felt he had few options but to take the initiative and issue a press release to the effect that Moyo, together with another junior minister, Oliphant Mfa, would be stepping down effective January next year.
The intention was to make the whole thing appear like it was a cabinet reshuffle.
In the end, Khama was left with little option but to issue a public statement to the effect that the two assistant ministers were stepping down for personal reasons.
Enraged at what he felt was a slight from members of his own party, Moyo resigned from both the ruling Botswana Democratic Party and parliament.
Both resignations have, however, since been withdrawn.