Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Social grant department hit by fraud

Three Social workers at the Department of Social and Community Development at both the Gaborone City Council and Southern District Council are at the centre of police investigations following the disappearance of money amounting to millions of pula.

Government probed the councils after it was discovered that the social grants offices at both councils have been making payments to fictitious beneficiaries.

Information passed to Sunday Standard is that some retail shop owners are also under investigations with allegations that since 2010 they connived and created ghost beneficiaries through which government was defrauded of millions.

The information further reveals that hundreds of destitute are likely to lose out on their grants due to the probe as the grants will be suspended in order to screen eligibility.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard, Detective Superintendent Phenyoitsile Nnanaakoko of Serious Crime Squad, said, “Our office is investigation Gaborone City Council and the Southern District Councils, particularly the social and community development departments,” he said.

Nnanaakoko could not disclose the exact amount of money that had been stolen until investigations are completed, adding that they had not recovered any of the money.

Contacted for comment, the Public Relations Officer of Gaborone City Council, Seelotso Lekgaba, confirmed the investigations.

“The council is not yet ready to comment about the matter as the matter has been referred to the police who are conducting the investigation.”

Meanwhile, some employees at the council, who opted to remain anonymous, said that the social and community development department “is very rotten and needs a cleanup”.

They added that what is disturbing is the lack of supervision and proper checks at the council.
On his part, the Public Relation Officer of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said that his organisation is worried about the corruption cases, especially from councils.

He said they had intensified their campaigns against corruption in councils.

“I am quite optimistic that such campaigns will help a lot to root out corruption within our societies,” he said.

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