Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Parliamentary Probe at BDC is unnecessary – minister Seretse

Serowe North East MP, Ramadeluka Seretse, is not impressed that in a few weeks time, a select committee of Members of Parliament will storm the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) offices to investigate allegations of maladministration and corruption relating to the Fengyue glass project.

According to Seretse, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, which has already begun the probe, says the DCEC should be left to investigate.

His view is that any other probe by another body is an indication of a lack of confidence on DCEC.
Last week, Seretse, who is also minister of Defence, Justice and Security, unsuccessfully lobbied for MPs to consider suspending parliament’s probe at BDC until the DCEC has completed its investigations.

Perhaps sensing that the majority of legislatures were resolute on their position on BDC, Seretse never got to formerly table his request at the BDP’s caucus nor at the all party meeting.

So far, the Speaker of the National Assembly has announced that Abram Kesupile, the bi-spectacled Botswana National Front MP from Kanye will lead a team to probe at BDC.

Other members of the committee are Gilson Saleshando, Tawana Moremi, Charles Tibone, Olebile Gaborone, Odirile Motlhale, Tshekedi Khama and Mephato Reatile.

“It’s not wrong to find out what was wrong. I find it a bit strange that parliament would take the role of DCEC,” says Seretse.

However, despite the compliment extended to parliament for its move, Seretse’s position on the issue has not changed. He hopes that Parliament will change its mind and hopefully call off the mission.

“Am a bit apprehensive because they would be passing a motion of no confidence on the DCEC,” he said.

Seretse says that if legislators think DCEC is ineffective then they should amend the DCEC Act as the principal law makers. Having shared with DCEC’s progress and terms of reference, the Serowe North East MP says that since the terms of reference are the same, there is a high possibility that the mission will be a duplicate of what the DCEC is doing.

“I hope they will have a change of heart if they realize some familiarity…in what they are supposed to probe and what DCEC is investigating.”

He said parliament can only recommend its findings while DCEC would also note some things to execute, especially where it relates to maladministration and unjustified sacking of board members and employees.

“Politicians must live this to the right people,” argues Seretse.

He says that some MPs were only interested in discussing possible evidential material publicly.
“DCEC does not make a public report. They take to the relevant officials. Their task is to investigate,” he stated. “If they were to report to parliament they will discuss publicly the evidence which they are suppose to lead, you cannot discuss evidence in public.”


Read this week's paper