Permanent Secretary faces jail term

Bame Piet

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Nancy Neo Chengeta, could find herself behind bars anytime soon after she failed to comply with a court order issued by Justice Michael Motlhabi on 13th December 2022.

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She was supposed to have complied with the order by end of March 2023 but has since not done so.

“You are commanded to take Nancy Neo Chengeta who is Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture or Private Bag 003, Gaborone if she is found in Botswana and deliver her to the officer-in-charge of Central State Prison, together with a copy of this writ, there to be kept until the further order of the High Court or for the period of three months from the date of her delivery to the officer-in-charge of the said prison,” reads a court order dated 24 May 2023.

An earlier arrest warrant was issued on 28th March 2023.

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This is in a matter where Millan Buzwani James Mpofu and 235 others had dragged the government to court seeking payment of salary arrears for Multiple Titling or automatic progression of the C Band positions in the Ministry.

The ministry has not paid the arrears and some of the applicants have resolved to apply for her arrest.

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According to our sources, the PS was supposed to have been sent to prison on Tuesday this week, but the police were unable to locate her.

Spokesperson for the ministry, Ignatius Kgaodi, said they had just received the document and were still trying to confirm its authenticity. “We are also consulting the relevant authorities on how to respond to the document,” he said adding that they will respond as quickly as possible.

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