In what some of the Kweneng District councillors termed ‘useless spending’ Kweneng District Council (KDC) recently spent over half a million on a retreat. Financial statements passed to The Telegraph showed how KDC spent P 570,224.24 on two trips for a retreat in Kenya and Mauritius.
The money was described as costs for accommodation for delegates, air fares and per diem for delegates during the trips. The expenditure is supported by a response to a question asked by councillor Arafat Khan who challenged the council to break down the expenditure of the retreat. The Telegraph is in possession of the response from KDC, in which it stated:
“Costs for the retreat which are inclusive of the accommodation and food for the entire delegation was paid to the host lodge, being Oasis Motel located in Zanzibar (Central District, Botswana) at a total amount of BWP 165,570,00 for five days.”
“Costs for the Mauritius/ Kenya mission amounted to a total of BWP 404,654.24 and this was made up of BWP 185, 534, 24 being costs for per diem for the delegation of eight people that travelled and BWP 219,120.00 being the cost for airfares.”
According to Kweneng District Council the Zanzibar retreat was meant to find ways of harmonizing interpersonal relations and constituency visions across the political divide.
“The objective was also to understand politicians’ expectations and present the administration arm’s issues in an effort to enable an effective and efficient working environment which is conducive to improve the quality of lives of the constituents.”
The council also explained that the Mauritius/Kenya mission was in line with the a resolution that was endorsed last year for Kweneng District Council to twin with municipalities in the region and abroad.
“Twinning with County Government of Nyeri in Kenya and Municipal Council of Vacoas Phoenix in Mauritius was approved by council.”
It also said the visit to Mauritius was intended for signing a Memorandum of Agreement and benchmarking on notable areas of best practice such as information technology infrastructure and systems.
“In Kenya the delegation was visiting the sister council, County Government of Nyeri. The visit was targeting areas of best practice particularly related to community empowerment schemes.”
Kweneng District Council, like any other council faces financial constraints when it comes to issues of project implementation. As a country that was recently hit by economic meltdown, councillors believe the council was wrong to spend so much money within a week.