Thursday, October 28, 2021

Sadique Kebonang caught between BPC house sale to Ian Khama

The name of former Minister responsible for Minerals and Energy, Sadique Kebonang has cropped up in a controversial sale of a house previously owned by Botswana Power Corporation.

The house has been bought by former President Ian Khama, documents have revealed.

Both the ministry officials and the board of Botswana Power Corporation had privately expressed reservations about the sale.

They questioned the ethical propriety of the deal.

The over P3 million house in Gaborone Central had previously been occupied by the Chief Executive Officer of BPC.

The ministry and the BPC Board argued that only BPC employees were entitled to buy the house.

A purchase by a third party would have to be done through a public tender, they argued.

They further reasoned that, if no BPC officer was interested, it would make sense to sell the house to the state, rather than to Khama personally, especially since there had been no open tender.

In an interview, Kebonang confirmed authorizing and signing off the sales contract of the deal when he was still a cabinet minister.

“The understanding was that the house would be occupied by President Ian Khama upon retirement. We also thought it was a good thing to sell the house to him because it is adjacent to another house that President Khama always owned which was purchased for him by his late father,” said Kebonang.

He did not say why then the house was not sold to Government.

But still Kebonag’s explanation has not convinced those who feel the purchase had always smacked of self-dealing by President Ian Khama.

“It is the responsibility of the State to take care of all accommodation needs of a former Head of State. Hence it was our argument that if BPC was going to be of any help by selling the house, it could only do so to Government of Botswana,” said a BPC Board member.      

The BPC Marketing and Communications Manager Dineo Seleke could no shed light on the intricacies behind the deal.

“I have noted your enquiry. The information requested is confidential between the parties involved. We are not able to divulge the details of the contract,” said Seleke.

Kebonang was dropped from cabinet in April when the new president, Mokgweetsi Masisi took over.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper