Crack down on corrupt councillors

Sharon Mathala
GIVES WARNING: Minister Molale

Minister Molale warns against COVID -19 fraud

As reports of city mayors and councillors winning Covid-19 supply tenders continue to surface, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Eric Molale this week issued a stern warning for politicians to desist from corrupt practices.

In a strong worded letter addressed to councillors, Molale has warned that if his office was to discover that the councillors have abused their authority by using insider information to win tenders they would face the full wrath of the law.

In the letter titled, ” Compliance with section 88 of the local government act,” the minister stated that he was aware that some councillors already had their business running before the pandemic, but that should not be used as an excuse to disadvantage other business owners.

” In addressing this letter to you collectively and individually wish to caution you of the inappropriateness of relying on information you may have come into possession of perceived or otherwise in your line of duty as councillors, to bid for supply of good and services in councils, ” Molale warned.

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” Where it emerges in due time that this request was not heeded, due processes will be followed to evoke the relevant status, particularly section 24 and 31 of the corruption and economic crime act to address such an inappropriate practices. Where there are exceptional situations that may need to be considered, such will be sanctioned by my office with full justification,” the letter stated.

Reached for further clarification on the sidelines of Parliament this last Wednesday, Molale acknowledged the letter.

The Minister further said that his office was dealing with a few cases but no councillor has so far been found guilty of any irregularity.

“We have cases where in one village the Councillor was the only one who owns a general dealer so you can imagine that in that instance the said Councillor would have not necessarily flouted any process. All we ask is for the Councillors to declare their interest,” Molale further explained.

“What I want to clear however is the perception that these tenders are a preserve of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillors. We have opposition former councillors and current councillors who have also benefited. I have cases in point but I would not want to get into it for now,” Molale noted.

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