Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Mathambo could have been acquitted by Village Senior Magistrate Linah Mokebe of a single count of corruption but that does not seem to be a closed chapter of the case. Opposition parties have said they will seek clarity on how the case was handled as they believe that something was not done right somewhere.
Speaking to The Voice, Information and Publicity Secretary for Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Taolo Lucas said that an appeal by Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) would be appropriate in this case though he said he was now sceptical about the independence of the country’s judiciary.
“We are a bit surprised and suspicious that the case was concluded within a short space of time, this is unlike the court system of Botswana. We suspect that there could have been pressure from somewhere. We will definitely seek answers,’’ he said. He said judging by this case and other past cases involving some high profile cases leaders will never be held accountable for anything because it does not look like the issue of conflict of interest is being taken seriously.
Spokesperson for Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Rasina Rasina said that all government officials facing criminal charges should relieve themselves of their duties or take a sabbatical leave when appearing before court.
“Public officers should not serve in any way when facing such cases because they have access to information and that could be the reason why the case could not have taken long before the courts, but it is not something that we will just let go, answers have to be provided.”
Mathambo was acquitted after the court failed to prove any linkages between him and his family with Tuwana Company. The company had been hired by Mathambo to build a house before it proposed to have a working relationship with Botswana Development Corporation. The court declared that Mathambo did not have any interest or shares in the said company.