The Public Accounts Committee this week questioned why the family of former Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Maxwell Motowane was given P1 million compensation while it was not clear that the assistant Minister died while on duty. Principal Auditor Cosmos Mogami indicated their bone of contention was not the cause of Motowane’s death but whether he died in the execution of his duties as the Assistant Minister.
“For example you can die whilst travelling to Francistown on duty or die while performing your own duties at your cattle post as the Assistant Minister,” explained Mogami, adding that circumstances surrounding the death were not clear. Mogami dismissed the argument Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and accounting officer Halkangwa Mbulai that their decision was guided by the Green Book. “We even consulted with the Attorney General,” Mbulai said. Quoting the Green Book, Mbulai argued they were convinced they were acting honestly without malice or intent to defraud government.
“We considered the last wording of “position in government” to reach our conclusion,” she said. The Green Book states “in the event of death or injury sustained by a Minister, his or her Assistant, Speaker, his or her Deputy, Leader of the Opposition in the course of duty or as a result position in government the compensation should be offered.” The PAC decided to refer the matter to Parliament. Motowane died in December 2012 after a short illness suspected to be asthma.