Bank of Botswana (BOB) is expected to issue a commercial banking license to a new company belonging to the politically connected in Botswana.
The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, businessman and ruling party member Paul Paledi, Resident Director and Chief Executive Officer of De Beers, Neo Moroka, who is also a member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party and Dineo Saleshando are behind the creation of the new bank.
Moroka is alleged to have already resigned as Board Member at Barclays Bank of Botswana to avoid a conflict of interest. The information could not be immediately verified by the time of going to press.
Also in the process of applying for commercial bank licences are Letshego – an unsecured credit provider, Botswana Post with the intention to form Post Bank while the Botswana Building Society awaits the National Development Bank to amend its Act to allow the society to be able to do transactions it could previously do such as a banking business.
“I can confirm that a Botswana registered company, First Indigenous Limited applied to the Bank of Botswana, for a licence to transact banking business under the trade name First Indigenous Bank Limited,” said spokesman Andrew Sesinyi.
He would not say whether or not BOB has issued the licence “You should bear in mind that an application is only successful once approved and in this regard, respect for the privacy of all applicants would be in order,” said Sesinyi.
Moroka through his private secretary said he was not ready to speak to the media while other players could not be reached by the time of going to press.
Dineo Saleshando’s husband, Dumelang, who is President of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), said he does not see the need for public scrutiny on any activities undertaken by those related to him in this case his wife. He said his wife has her own friends and business associates.
“I am not going to comment on her business dealings unless if there are allegations that she is engaged in possible acts of corruption or illegal activities. It is only fair that her choice of a husband who is involved in politics should not be used to subject her to close monitoring by the press. I have chosen to hold a political office that subjects me to public scrutiny. I will answer all questions relating to my engagements and investments,” said Dumelang.
He said he cannot impose restrictions on who his wife should transact with.
“She knows the values I subscribe to and do not expect her to partner with corrupt business people, whether they are BDP or opposition aligned. For the many years she worked for different commercial banks, I am sure that her clients included BDP members. If she were a lawyer and not a banker, she would have represented clients who are BDP members, and there would have been nothing wrong with that,” said Dumelang Saleshando.