Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘BFA much wiser following embezzlement’ – Letshwiti

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) will emerge a little wiser from the fraud crisis that has engulfed it, according to its president Maclean Letshwiti.

Following the embezzlement of more than P500 000 from the coffers of the association, Letshwiti said while there is little they could have done to stop the crime, ‘they have learnt a lot from it.’

While questions have arisen as to whether there needs to be a review of the association’s Finance and Procedures, Letshwiti said the dexterity with which the whole fraud was planned and carried out shows ‘no process is full proof.’

“This was a sophisticated white collar organized crime and there is nothing that could have been done to anticipate or even stop it,” said the BFA president.

He said as it stands, the BFA financial and procedure manual cannot be faulted as it took some good criminal minds to bypass it.

Under the association’s current finance and procedure manual, each individual transaction ‘is processed through a double-entry accounting system’ using ‘books of prime entry and subsidiary ledger accounting modules.’

As the record in which all transactions are recorded either in detail or in summary (control) totals, ‘the general ledger is the principal accounting record of BFA.’

“If you were to ask me, I do not think there was any visible loophole on the association’s procedures. This just shows there can be no full proof process for a determined criminal,” he said.

“In instances like this, only early detection is key because the deftness of the crime means the criminal could carry out such activities undetected for a very long time,” he explained.

He further said as such, the association still does not know the extent of the embezzlement except for the already reported time period.

“We still have to go back and look at our accounts to check the extent and the time periods over which this happened to determine how long it had been going on,” Letshwiti explained.

Letshwiti however acknowledged that as an association, there will always be a room to review and improve financial procedures when situations ‘like the one that happened occur.’

On what this means for his mission of trying to purge the rot at the BFA, Letshwiti said it only strengthens his resolve.

“When I came into office, I promised to clean the association and I will fulfil that promise. Swift action will be taken against anyone contravening the BFA regulations and criminals will be purged out,” he said.

Going forward, the BFA president said the association will have to thoroughly scrutinize the people it employs to reduce the occurrence of criminality.

“We need to try as much as possible to hire only the correct people we employ in the BFA. We will have to scrutinize the quality of our potential employees,” he explained.

While this will be done across all positions, the BFA president said even more scrutiny will be done on people employed in certain positions.

“For certain positions like finance and accounting, just to mention two, the association will need even more scrutiny to ensure criminals do not make it into such positions,” he said.

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