Demands answers over ‘missing’ P100 billion
The Leader of Minority, Tshekedi Khama has asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka to set the record straight on the P100 billion allegedly missing from the Bank of Botswana’s coffers.
Responding to the 2020/2021 Budget Speech, Tshekedi warned that the ‘debacle’ was likely to create suspicion and uncertainty amongst the world banking sector.
The one-time Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwart urged Matsheka to speak up and ‘save President Mokgweetsi Masisi from embarrassment’.
“As the Minister of Finance you have remained silent on the P100 billion supposedly hived off from Bank of Botswana. But we are all aware that Bank of Botswana has said no such amount is missing. Interesting that in the State of the Nation address by President Masisi he said that foreign exchange reserves stood at P71.4 billion. Matsheka, do not embarrass your President – you should have been the first to set the record straight!”
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Serowe West further noted the uncertainty could scare off foreign investors.
“What will they think of Botswana? This will damage our country’s reputation, and by extension affect the livelihood of Batswana, if it hasn’t already.”
Tshekedi said that he had great hopes that as former academic and key person in the economy of the country, Matsheka would chart a new path for Botswana.
“Instead, what we see are the rumblings of a people out of their depth. He has followed the old age template and simply reduced here and added there on what already has been happening. Where is the transformation?” demanded the balding MP.
The Botswana Patriotic Front (BDF) member then turned his fiery attention to Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane, who he blasted for being ‘ultra-defensive’.
“A man who used to be very humble and welcoming is these days a very impatient man who when deliberating here in the house speaks as though this is not a democratic country. He has openly told us that there is no need for the BDP to be accountable, no need to put a plan in motion and also to set targets for priorities such as unemployment.”
Tshekedi added he had hoped the budget speech would give him some idea of the government’s ultimate goal over the next period and the steps it intends to take to achieve this.
“How do we know if we are headed towards the destination without markers of progress?” he queried, calling for performance indicators to help assert whether the country is heading in the right direction or not.