Saturday, September 25, 2021

Parliament calls for probe on Skelemani, Isaac Kgosi

Opposition parliamentarians have called on government to investigate minister Phandu Skelemani and the Director of Intelligence and Security Isaac Kgosi, among others, over the misuse of millions from the Disaster Fund to set up the DIS.

Speaking this week during debate on the adoption of reports compiled by the Public Accounts Committee for the financial year 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, MP Samson Guma Moyo called for the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Police to investigate Kgosi and Skelemani.

An agitated Moyo called for an examination of government’s accounting system.

He said that he got troubled when he learnt that the DIS director had at some point sought to deny parliament access to information regarding information on over 16 million taken from the disaster fund to finance DIS.

“Ask DCEC and Police to investigate, there is nothing classified, what’s classified about misappropriation of funds?”

Moyo said that this was a clear case of corruption. “Now people live in fear; we can’t fear civil servants.”

He said that Kgosi is the most feared civil servant, adding that the man could not even account to elected public representatives.

He urged government to commission an investigation to find out exactly what happened regarding the transaction.

“We cannot have a situation where a department holds a country at ransom,” Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi said as he took the floor. Concurring with Moyo, Mmolotsi said that he was appalled that Kgosi was later appointed DIS’s director general despite heading a taskforce on the possible setting up of the intelligence organ.

He described DIS as a national disaster which was doing nothing except gobbling millions in taxpayers’ money. Mmolotsi said that he was suspicious that BDP MPs and councilors were being given slush funds to buy votes. The MP expressed concern that every year the organisation’s budgets balloons.

Also joining the onslaught was South East South MP Odirile Motlhale who accused government of using the DIS to operate a slush fund.

He called for the Public Accounts Committee hearings to be made public to improve the level of accountability.

Motlhale echoed a need for transparency when assessing public accounts.

He said that DIS operations were shrouded in secrecy because powerful businessmen with links to the ruling party were getting kickbacks for intelligence property and equipment that he said is normally purchased without a tender.

“We hear they are purchasing a new flight, who is supplying…who is getting the commission?,” questioned Motlhale, who further stated that since DIS accounts were declared classified information, it’s currently impossible for the PAC to establish the security organ’s spending.

He said that there were several reports on misuse of funds at DIS.

Motlhale also accused DIS operatives of abusing petty cash. He told parliament some DIS officers had allegedly made off with P90 000 petty cash and refused to account for it. He said that there were houses reported to be registered in individual’s names instead of government or the security outfit.

“Because they refuse to account, it gets difficult not to believe these allegations, especially when the minister says it’s classified,” said Motlhale.

Meanwhile, deputy Speaker Pono Moathodi threw out a motion by Maun West MP Tawana Moremi which called for the dissolution of DIS.

Moremi said DIS should be dissolved because it is an embarrassment.

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