Masisi’s business deals under scrutiny

Daniel Chida
Dithapelo Keorapetse

We don’t regulate morality- Tshere

President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s business connections have come under public scrutiny with allegations that he has shares in at least 10 companies setting tongues wagging.

The allegedly dubious deals have ignited concern and worry from some quarters that he may have traded his political capital for the shares.

The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA spoke to few Members of Parliament from the opposition side to hear their views on the matter.

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Dithapelo Keorapetse- MP for Selibe-Phikwe West

The President cannot be in business in a country where the state plays an important role in the economy.

It is morally wrong, it is a recipe for corruption and bad corporate governance.

The state is a regulator, it collects taxes, and it is the biggest buyer of goods and services, directly and indirectly.

The economy revolves around the state. The President can’t compete fairly, as a businessman, with Batswana or foreigners doing business because the power to govern rests in him in terms of sections 47 of the Constitution.

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It is more worrying if the President gets into business with Indians or any foreigner for that matter, whether they’ve now naturalized or not.

The constitution provides that the President exercises his powers directly or indirectly through officers subordinate to him.

How would his subordinates, at competition authority or any industry’s authority, regulate his businesses without fear or favour?

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Those who offered shares to the President should have been prosecuted for bribery.

They’ve offered and provided a valuable consideration to the President by being in business with him.

They know that being with him in business means public policy would be manipulated to favour their businesses.

Other businesses may be compelled to do business with a company that has the President as a shareholder.

Moreover, the president knows future government plans, gets intelligence briefs and other vital economic related information that could advantage him and his business associates and disadvantage real or potential competitors.

What the business people are doing by being with the president in a boardroom as a Director is what is called state capture whereby public policy decisions are made with clear intentions to benefit the politically connected elites in business, political leadership and bureaucracy, but not ordinary people.

This is a president who rose up the political ladder without any known commercial enterprises or wealth and we’ve warned in Parliament when he was implicated in NPF and CMB that he seems to be in a hurry to accumulate wealth.

He’s said to be in a rush to amass land and he’s reported to have started game farming. We must be worried, all of us who are patriotic.

These business dealings are simply elite corruption at a grand scale. Simple!

Wynter Mmolotsi – MP for Francistown South

I have no problems with a person keeping businesses and partnerships he acquired before assuming the ultimate position of President, but I have qualms with shares and partnerships that are acquired when a person is in the office.

In a small economy like Botswana it may not be easy to compete with the President in any business because of his influence as the president.

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Personally I would focus on the presidency and leave businesses with citizens until retirement.

Dr David Tshere- MP for Mahalapye West

What the president is doing is wrong but our hands are tied because we don’t regulate morality.

The whole Botswana Democratic Party is failing when it comes to integrity and morals.

What is happening is the beginning of state capture and soon the president will be failing to change laws because of conflict of interest.

Procurement of major projects those companies that the President has shares in and some of them were registered during COVID 19. We mustn’t take such issues lightly.

Kenny Kapinga- MP for Okavango

It is clear to me, corruption.

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