Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘Matambo was notified about alleged corruption at Statistics Botswana’

Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo is one of the first people to know about the alleged corruption, maladministration, nepotism, misappropriation of funds and failure to follow good practices at Statistics Botswana but never acted.

This was revealed by former Member of Parliament for Good Hope Mabule James Mathokgwane who told the Committee on Statutory bodies and State enterprises that Minister Matambo received a letter from concerned parties at Statistics Botswana about the alleged corruption but did not act.

The letter written to Matambo by concerned parties is said to have involved a lot of things including un-procedural recruitment.

The Committee chairman Guma Moyo wanted to know whether Minister Matambo responded to the letter when he was informed.

Mathokgwane said nothing came from the Minister’s side as a response. “I can confidently say that Minister Matambo was informed, he received a letter of complaint. I didn’t see those letters but I know it’s something that I can find and submit later before this committee,” he said.

He said that if the Statistics Botswana board was effective they could have long realised that there were problems at the organisation.

“I will be a surprise if they did not receive any letters of complaints from concerned parties. I am also of the view and opinion that Statistician General is overwhelmed and that she is weak to make decisions,” he said.

Mathokgwane is determined to assist the committee with names and contacts of some individuals who can assist with the investigations.

On the issue of over a million pula allegedly cashed over the counter, Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolatlhe asked Mathokgwane whether the bank statement was the only piece of evidence that he came across or whether there are other issues that might have motivated his curiosity.

“I know that during Public Accounts Committee the question was asked about the statement and the answer that was given by Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry was that it was a bank error. If it is a bank error then it is a very serious error,” Mathokgwane said.

Mathokgwane further said that in an attempt to justify the over a million pula that was cashed over the counter statistics Botswana came up with a breakdown to say what the money was used for.

“The breakdown was part of the paper that I was going to present before this committee today. When I left my office here to my new office in SPEDU at Selibe Phikwe I left some stuff here including the breakdown, they were in the box there but when I came back yesterday I couldn’t find all my stuff including that particular break down,” he said.

Mathokgwane said he is passionate about the matter and he will make sure that he gets another breakdown and submit it to the committee at a later stage.

“I do not believe it was a bank error. The PS was just covering up the mess. It can’t be an error, how do you justify that it was a bank error? Mathokgwane said.

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