Monday, April 19, 2021

Motlhale dropped from BDC parliament select team

South East South Member of Parliament, Odirile Motlhale, has been dropped from the parliament select committee that was appointed last year to investigate the goings on at the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) amid concerns that his inclusion had compromised the credibility of the team.

The legislator, credited for sponsoring the motion that saw parliament setting up a special committee to investigate the goings on at the government-owned investment arm, becomes the second member to drop from the team.

First to drop was Palapye Member of Parliament, Moiserala Goya, who cited conflict of interest because the BDC project under question is based in his constituency.

It had also been reported that the Palapye legislator had received a donation from the BDC partner in the project, Fengyue Glass Manufacturing.

In an interview, Motlhale said he had dropped from the team, refusing to divulge further information and referring questions to the probe team chairperson, Abraham Kesupile, and Speaker of the National Assembly, Margaret Nasha.

“Yes, I have dropped out. Talk to Kesupile or Nasha because they are better placed to disclose the reasons,” was all Motlhale said in a telephone interview.

Approached for comment, Nasha refused to comment, saying she does not report to the press but rather to parliament.
“Come on Thursday. I will be presenting a report to parliament. I don’t report to newspapers,” Nasha said.
Kesupile’s phone rang unanswered.

There were concerns in the government enclave that Motlhale, as the mover of the motion that led to the formation of the probe team, had been compromised by inclusion into the committee instead of being allowed to be a witness so as to share his information with the committee.

There was a feeling that he could not be a judge and jury in his own cause since he is the one who tabled a motion that was overwhelmingly adopted to probe BDC, especially the Palapye Fengyue Manufacturing Plant.

In moving the motion, Motlhale had presented damning information against the executive management of the government-owned corporation.

It had been held that given the kind of information he proffered during his motion, he was better placed as witness than a member of the probe team and it was also feared that some members of the implicated BDC executive management may turn to the courts to question the partiality of the team.

Nasha reconvened the Parliament Select Committee Monday morning where it was resolved that Motlhale be recused from being part of the investigating team.

It remains to be seen who will be roped in to fill the void left by the two legislators.

Meanwhile, the BDC last week issued a press release in which it said it was going ahead with the project despite the parliamentary investigation.

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