Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Will President Khama testify in the Nchindo and GCC court cases?

The Office of the President and the Directorate of Public Prosecution are both quiet on whether President Ian Khama will give evidence in two on-going criminal trials in which he was cited as a witness.

The two trials are one in which the former Managing Director of Debswana, Louis Nchindo, is facing charges of having provided Khama with false information.

He and Joseph Malope Matome are alleged to have, on or about December 21, 2000, acted jointly and in concert with intent to defraud the Botswana government of title of Plot 55720, Gaborone.

Nchindo and Matome are alleged to have knowingly given false information concerning a company called Tourism Development Consortium to Khama, who was then the Vice President and employed by the Public Service.

The state says this was done when, in fact, the accused persons knew at all material times that such a company did not exist.

Further to that, even if it existed, the state says the purported company, even when incorporated, would not be a property of Debswana but the private property of Nchindo and his son.
The state maintains that the false information made Khama to support the allocation of plot 55720 in Gaborone to the purported company, support the Vice President would not have given had the true facts been known to him.

Besides Khama, this deception is also reported to have been used on former President Festus Mogae, the Cabinet, former Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Boometswe Mokgothu, and the Director of Lands, Victor Rantshabeng.

Asked to comment on the issue this week, the Secretary to the President, Samuel Rathedi, through his Secretary said that he would have to ask the President about the issue.

The Director of DPP, on the other hand, did not respond to the question.
Lawyers close to the case say that they fear that if Khama does not give evidence in this matter, the count against Nchindo and Matome concerning having given Khama false information was likely to fall away.

“There just isn’t a way in which this charge can stand if Khama does not give evidence,” said the source.

Khama is also expected to give evidence in a case in which some employees of the Gaborone City Council are alleged to have corruptly connived to defraud GCC by altering tender documents in order to defraud the GCC of P24 million.

In this matter, Khama is alleged to have written a letter to the GCC instructing them to clean some parts of Gaborone City which he is reported to have said was dirty.

This matter was supposed to have been continued this week but the case was adjourned because the state witness, Doreen Segoea, had complained that she was not feeling well.


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