BY THOBO MOTLHOKA
Any Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) politician who finds themselves facing corruption charges is on their own. This was said by President Mokgweetsi Masisi when addressing the media on Friday, March 1st. The President said he had never nor would ever attempt to prevent anybody from being investigated for corruption.
Masisi admitted corruption was becoming rampant in Botswana and said it was their duty as leadership to stem it.
“That corruption is manifesting itself in Botswana is not questionable,” He said. “The more energised you get and the bolder people become and the power they feel, these things immerge.”
He said no one was above the law. If an Ipelegeng employee can face the wrath of the law for stealing something as little as a wheelbarrow , why should anybody feel they cannot be face punishment for stealing something of an even greater value, Masisi sad. “Why does it seem like the only criminals are petty thieves?” He said people who are in the top end of society must also face the wrath of the law for their crimes like the rest of the society.
Masisi dismissed as fallacious allegations that he was using state institutions to settle political scores. “Does it mean that just because you are a politician those institutions should let you be? They were not created for politicians only they were created for everybody. If you are accused and taken to court, defend yourself.”
He said it was intriguing how the accusations of political influence become ‘fashionable’ when there are certain people being investigated.
“They are in the fashion of making these wild accusations that state institutions are being used to settle political scores. My political battles are in politics.”
President Masisi’s words come in the wake of multimillion Pula corruption and money laundering cases involving Capital Management Botswana (CMB), and National Petroleum Fund (NPF) among other cases where top government officials and politicians have been implicated. Masisi has denied any involvement in the NPF scandal which has also included former Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi. Suspects in the P250 million NPF case have included have included among others Bakang Seretse, Judge Zein Kebonang, his twin brother and former Trade Minister Sadique Kebonang, Executive Director of Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Kenneth Kerekang. The four recently appeared again at the Broadhurst Magistrate Court charged with money laundering among other charges as the case continues. The prosecution have said they would add more charges and suspects as the case continues. The CMB, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) case also continues.