Minister of Education, Jacob Nkate, has responded to a call made by Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South, Robert Molefhabangwe, that somebody should account for the P4.6 million deposited in an American bank account by the Ministry.
Nkate said there is nothing “improper or corrupt” about the transaction.
The Botswana National Front Member of Parliament had come up with details of government money being deposited into some account in the United States.
But in response, Nkate said Molefhabangwe had received the information from disgruntled officers.
Nkate added that Molefhabangwe had failed to go beyond that to conduct his own investigations and told parliament that he was not happy that Molefhabangwe was insinuating corruption.
Nkate said the money was payment to an American company, Transformation Systems International, to honour an agreement for the services rendered.
“I am compelled to make this intervention because I take seriously the Honourable Member’s insinuation that this transaction could be improper and even smack of corruption,” said Nkate.
He said it was unfortunate that an impression had been created that the monies were paid into personal accounts, including into accounts of “people from my constituency.”
“I think it should be stated for general information that here in the Republic of Botswana, ministers do not have access to public funds so as to personally mobilize the same into private accounts.”
He said the payment was made for training eighty (80) Ministry of Education employees (teachers, lecturers, and Education Officers) and stated that the training had been approved by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board.
“The purpose of the training is to develop capacity within the ministry of Education to drive Performance Improvement initiatives down to the school levels.”
But Minister Nkate had no answer to Molefhabangwe on why training was done in the United States rather than in Botswana as it would have been cost effective given the high number of people trained.
He said having the training conducted in the United States afforded the participants the unique opportunity to visit sites and observe first hand the concepts that were being taught and put into practice in the real world.
“This strengthens belief in the efficacy of the concepts.”
Taking a swipe at Molefhabangwe for his insinuations of corruption, Nkate said, “While it is the prerogative of any Honourable Member to receive information and make enquiries on matters of national interest, members should be wary of being fed misinformation by disgruntled officers and publicly repeating the same without first investigating.”