Former mayor of Francistown, Ignatius Moswaane, lambasted his fellow councilors in the FCC for failing to represent the interests of the electorates in the city council and for condoning corruption by letting the apparent financial blunders of the city council slide without even voicing a word of concern.
At the recent special full council meeting to discuss the audited report of the FCC accounts for the 2002/2003 financial years, Moswaane, was the only voice of reason in a group of Francistown councilors who all seemed unconcerned about the damaging irregularities that the auditors’ reports had revealed.
Even former mayor Motlatsi Molapise, who is famous for his incessant attacks on council officials, was vocal during the discussion on auditors reports.
Before the meeting could proceed, Moswaane stood up to beg the mayor to accord the councilors ten minutes to deliberate on the reports instead of the usual five minutes stipulated by the council standing orders.
But Moswaane’s request was shot down by other councilors, most of whom felt that there was not much to discuss as the auditor general had said that the city council had generally kept good accounts.
Contrary to his initial statement, the auditor general went on to reveal scathing financial irregularities and discrepancies in the way the council handled its accounts, stopping short of accusing the council of corruption.
Moswaane, who is the only councilor who deliberated on the report, later slammed his counterparts for what he called negligence of their duties, as they had shown contempt and lack of interest in correcting the wrongs that the auditor general’s scathing report had revealed.
His main concern was over the auditor’s report concerning, among others, a tractor, JCB and a trailer which mysteriously disappeared when the auditor general made efforts to inspect them.
“Attempts to physically inspect the said machinery were futile as they were not physically present,” the report stated.
The city council’s response to this damaging allegation was that the said vehicle and machinery had been boarded and disposed of through auction. But the report revealed that there was no evidence to prove that the vehicles had been boarded and sold off. Moswaane also added that the house-to-house campaign was a costly exercise as it involved overtime payment to council employees.
Further deliberating on his frustrations with the FCC, Moswaane said that the auditor general has expressed concern that the city council was late in renewing its vehicle licenses and would later be charged huge sums of money in penalities.
The report revealed in 2005 the council was charged P4332 in penalties for late renewals of licenses.
“These penalties are a result of negligence on the part of the transport department, and the council should at least express concern about this,” charged Moswaane. The report recommended that such officers should be identified and charged with negligence of duty.
Commenting on the issue, deputy city clerk, Adam Chiiliwa, said that the house-to-house campaign was carried out for a year and a report would be released soon.
Chiliwa also confirmed that, indeed, the FCC had numerous employees who were facing charges of fraud.
“Some of them were acquitted which costs the council some money as we now have to reinstate and reimburse them,” he said.
Motlatsi Molapisi said that he could not comment on the deliberations as he was a member of the finance committee.”