Sunday, February 28, 2021

PPADB, DPP dragged into Chitube’s multi million fraud case

The Public Procurement Disposal Board (PPADB) and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) were among public institutions that were allegedly used by deported Zambian National Jerry Chitube in his effort to defraud some South African companies out of millions of Pula, according to documents obtained by the Sunday Standard.
Chitube who had links with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Directorate of Intelligence Security Service (DISS) allegedly impersonated both PPADB and DPP officers and a forged Botswana Police Service statement in an effort to deceive and intimidate directors of a South African company, Lodisa Pty Ltd.
Chitube is alleged to have written a letter claiming it was from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s Chief State Counsel L. Mosimane, to PPADB Board members stating that “as per our telephonic conversation, I do hereby confirm that my department has received the final report from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) relating to investigation of a likelihood of corrupt practice in the allocation of a tender for the supply of electronic equipment and accessories by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to LODISA Trading (PTY) LTD.”
The letter states that after extensive investigations by the CID and DPP, “the Attorney General has reached a conclusion not to prosecute the matter as investigations could not find any evidence to suggest that either Lodisa Trading Pty Ltd, its directors or any members from either the Ministry of Education and Skills Development as well as the PPADB acted corruptly in the allocation of such a tender to the stated company.”
“Accordingly, we give you the go ahead to proceed with the allocation of such tender to the said Lodisa Trading (Pty) Ltd. We regret any inconvenience caused to the Ministry, the PPADB and Lodisa Trading (PTY) Ltd,” states the letter.
Chitube also allegedly penned an internal memo claiming to be from the PPADB Board notifying companies that the Ministry of Education had approved several tenders.
The internal memo titled Ministry of Education Awarded Tenders-March 2012 states that “this is to notify you that the following tenders under the Ministry of Education have been approved and you are therefore required to inform the tendering companies of the Board’s decision within 21 days from today.”
The memo lists a number of tenders purportedly approved by the PPADB Board.
Chitube allegedly penned another letter to Lodisa PTY Ltd, dated 24 March 2011, by an unnamed representative from the Ministry of Education stating that “I have been duly authorised by the Ministry if Education (here referred to as the employer) to award to you the contract. The price of the work shall be in the amount of BWP (226 393 299 29 (two hundred and twenty six million, three hundred and ninety three thousand, two hundred and ninety nine.
The letter states that “the price is deemed to include cost of all works necessary for the timely and satisfactory completion of the supply and delivery in its entirety.
After signing the contract the board will make an arrangement for your meeting with the accountant where you will give your bank details so that payments for your services can be done with ease.”
Chitube is also accused of writing another letter dated 24 November, purportedly from the Ministry of Educations Board Secretary with a stamp labelled supply department stating that “Please note that a mobilisation/payment deposit of 25 percent that is P49 806 525 84 (Forty nine million eight hundred and six thousand five hundred and twenty five Pula only) has been issued via cheque for the commencement of the contract agreed.”
The letter further states that “the employer shall pay the supplier the balance of 75 percent that is P176 586 777 (one hundred seventy six million five hundred and eighty six thousand seven hundred and seventy four Pula only) in accordance with clauses in the contract Agreement to be signed by the supplier and the employer which will be arranged in stages of the works completed.”
Manqele has since revealed in an affidavit how Chitube used the Office of the President, Ministry of Education and Attorney General to defraud her company.
Details emerging from the documents also show that Chitube who claimed to be an employee from the Office of the President informed Manqele that there was a tender at the Ministry of Education where they needed 20 000 laptops.
Mokgobo said she travelled to Botswana where Chitube had arranged that she meets a certain Peter Mogorosi. Mogorosi told her that there was a P5 million Refundable Performance Bond that had to be paid by all bidders.
“I then told him that I had no such an amount of money. Chitube then assured me that he would borrow me the money which he would ask his dad to assist him. On Monday 31 January 2012 I received a call from the Ministry of Education in Botswana (Mogorosi) informing me that I was awarded the tender. I then sent Chitube to pick up the (confirmation) letter for me which he later faxed to him,” she said.
Manqele said on 14 February 2011, Chitube faxed her proof of the five million Pula Performance Bond. “Thereafter Chitube told me that there was 10 percent needed by the people (Sharks Ventures) from whom the money was borrowed and a further P13 000 for the insurance of the loan,” she said.
On 6 April, Manqele went to Botswana’s Ministry of Education order to sign the contract.
“We were told that the signed contract would be sent to the Attorney General Legal Department for sealing. Botswana’s Ministry of Education was represented by Mogorosi and their legal department was represented by Sally Thebe,” said Manqele in her statement. She said after sometime she inquired about the progress regarding the matter and Chitube told her that the tender had been put on hold due to strikes in Botswana and that the Sharks Ventures requested the Attorney General to stop the process because they had not received their 10 percent from them. She said this prompted her business associate Tshepo Molapo to withdraw R540 000 which was the 10 percent required by Sharks Ventures on the loan. “I accompanied Molapo to Tlokweng boarder post and handed the money over to Chitube. Later we met with Sharks Ventures representative by the name of Moabi who acknowledged receipt of the money at one of the hotels in Botswana,” she said.

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