The disgraced Executive Secretary of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Armando Lionjanga was today sentenced to three years imprisonment wholly suspended for two years in which he is not to commit a similar crime.
Passing the sentence, Gaborone Chief Magistrate Lot Moroka, said that he has taken into consideration all the mitigatory factors brought before his court by Lionjangaʼs lawyer, Sydney Pilane.
Pilane has pointed out that the accused person was a sickly person whose medical condition needs a lot of monitoring according to medical evidence brought before the court.
The defence advocate has argued that Lionjanga is an elderly person (59 years), a first time offender and whose career contributed tremendously to the development of Botswana all along and only slipped later on a thing he said was regrettable.
The judgment was passed under full television cameras in a court; full of family members, sympathisers and friends. Outside the court, Pilane said that he was happy with the sentence and has shown compassion, which he said was very important.
Pilane was also quick to point out that the defence will appeal the judgment to the High Court as he feels that through the Magistrate had obviously done what he believed in, they have different feelings on the matter which had led them to the decision to appeal.
Ambrose Mubikwa of the DPP on the other hand said that he was happy about the judgment as he feels the Magistrate has done what he was ought to do. This he said should set an example to those who intend to do wrong.
Lionjanga was charged with corruption which carries a sentence not exceeding 10 years or a fine of P500, 000 or both.
Meanwhile, the Director of Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo has defended his Directorate for not charging the Minister of Defence and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse with corruption or to investigate him.
The concern is that Seretse was at the same meeting with Lionjanga at which they did not declare their interests with the company owned by Kagiso Makgekgenene. They were discussing to give some companies a tender including the one owned Makgekgenene .
Katlholo says there was no need to do so as Seretse and Makgekgenene were just family friends whilst Lionjanga was a blood relative to Makgekgenene. Lionjanga is the uncle to Makgekgenene and brother to LillianÔÇöMakgakganene’s mother.
Both the DCEC and PPADB Acts do not state the need for such persons as Seretse to declare interests in such cases since they were simply friends. Asked why then he had declared his interests in the first meeting, Katlholo said that he did so out of his own accord.