Thursday, December 2, 2021

MP alleges senior BDP members using support for Masisi as insurance against prosecution

The Gaborone North MP, Haskins Nkaigwa, has alleged that some senior Botswana Democratic Party members support President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the sole reason of avoiding prosecution for corruption they engaged in in the past.

By the estimates of Ndaba Gaolathe, the leader of Nkaigwa’s party (Alliance for Progressives), P3 billion per year has been lost to corruption “in recent years.” Upon assuming the reins of official power, Masisi has launched a historic crusade to weed out corruption. For the first time in Botswana’s history, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and the Botswana Unified Revenue Services are going after people who in the past would have been untouchable. By some analysis, this crusade is the reason a dissident group called New Jerusalem has emerged from the BDP because its leaders want to avoid going to prison for decades-long corruption.

Nkaigwa said that the crusade should not be “selective” but should target all the people who have looted state coffers.

“Even those rushing to support you, President Masisi, should also face the wrath of the law,” he said. “I believe that when you do that, you will be doing it for the good of this country. We know some culprits close to President Masisi who have looted state coffers and have told themselves that this closeness will immunize them against prosecution. I pray to God that they should one day wake up to find law enforcement officers investigating them. Then we wouldn’t doubt the seriousness of this crusade.”

In his own small way, the MP has ÔÇô like his colleagues ÔÇô been contributing to the fight against corruption.

“Some time back, I told parliament about a company that has been awarded a 15-year contract to maintain, upgrade and install new street lighting in Gaborone. And you ask yourself how a single company can be put in charge of all street lighting in Gaborone,” said Nkaigwa who was on very solid here because he served a stint as Gaborone mayor. “As we pass this budget, Gaborone City Council will probably get P100 million for its electrical works. That means all that money will be going to that company. Mr. Speaker, isn’t this blatant corruption plain to see?”

By Mr. Speaker he was referring to the Deputy Speaker and Gaborone South MP, Kagiso Molatlhegi.

From what Sunday Standard learns, both the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as well as the GCC have investigated the unusual case of an unusually lucky company being given a 15-year contract. As unusual was the Council launching a parallel investigation at a time that the Ministry’s was still underway. A good source says that the Council’s preliminary report implicates two senior officials, one a politician, the other a civil servant.

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