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Crack down on manual workers union

DCEC, FIA, BURS, NBFIRA, investigate Manual Workers Union for corruption

* We are innocent- Motswarakgole

Five law enforcement agencies recently pounced on the Manual Workers Union offices in search of evidence of alleged massive corruption and possible embezzlement of funds running into millions of Pula.

In an iinvestigation that stretched for two days, Directorate On Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS), Non Bank Financial Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) and the police swooped in on the unsuspecting union bosses, searching them both at the office and at their respective homes.

At the top of the investigation list are the Union’s CEO, Johnson Motswarakgole and his two principals.

The law enforcement joint operation was a result of a tip off that top management has been milking the union dry, especially from the Mokaulengwe Funeral Benefit Scheme, through bribery, abuse of office, maladministration and suspected criminal and fraudulent activities that could have bled the union of millions of pula.

Speaking in an interview Motshwarakgole, who has been running the show for well over 40 years, confirmed the incident but preempted his innocence.
Motswarakgole told The Voice in an interview that the officers from the mentioned investigating bodies stormed the union offices and ‘paraded’ his staff.

“I will not hide anything from you, so yes about 12 officers from DCEC, NBFIRA, BURS , FIA and Police did come to our offices last week for about two days straight for an investigation that we are yet to be briefed on,” confirmed Motswarakgole.

The charismatic union leader further said, “We were subjected to searches at our homes and my staff as you can imagine have been unsettled and scared of the whole parade. They stormed our offices for two days before they proceeded to my staff’s homes.”

Motswarakgole however maintained that he and his staff would prove to be innocent of any of the charges that they may face.

Probed further he revealed “Internally we had actually instituted an investigation into allegations of maladministration with regards to the Mokaulengwe benefit scheme. The internal audit started about a month ago and we expected the internal audit result by end of the month. I will avail the copy to you.”

The Director General of the DCEC, Brigadier Joseph Mathambo confirmed the probe.

“We are still at preliminary stages. No one has been charged yet but we are looking into irregularities that may have taken place.”

“I cannot disclose any more information than that at this stage,” Mathambo said.

Meanwhile Motswarakgole dismissed his detractors who have called for his removal from the top seat.

Commenting on this he said, “The retirement age that was not set by me but the union structures is 70.

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