Member of Parliament for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, has appealed to the Minister of Finance and Developing Planning, Thapelo Matsheka, to put measures in place to ensure that all foreign owned businesses comply with the country’s financial regulations.
Moswaane said the recent bad international financial ratings are due to lax regulations which have allowed some foreign traders to do as they please.
Moswaane told The Voice in an interview that most retail businesses owned by foreigners do not have speedpoint card swiping machines which denies the tax collector revenue.
“If you look at Francistown for instance, over 90 percent of foreign owned retail shops don’t have swiping machines. Nobody knows how much they spend on inventory and how much they make in sales,” charged Moswaane.
“This is also the case in Gaborone and all major towns,” he added.
The Francistown legislator said the country needs a new system that records inventory imported by foreign business owners, and a centralised system that will allow Botswana Unified Revenue Offices to know how much was made.
“With the current system, these traders can spend P2 million to import stock and then claim that they only made P500,” Moswaane said.
“BURS and banks are losing out because we have enabled these traders to engage in money laundering by allowing them to operate businesses without any traceable invoicing systems,” he said.
“It looks very small, but I’m telling you these traders are bleeding our economy and we’ve to act now,” said Moswaane.
In a letter written to the Minister and his Permanent Secretary, the Francistown West MP proposes a centralised government point of sale system which connects BURS, investors and banks.
“All payments, salaries and wages for all businesses and individual employees should be electronic if we’re to save our economy,” he said.
Moswaane further proposed that a P3 300 minimum wage bill should be introduced with immediate effect and a compulsory pension contribution with cash back arrangement made between employer, employee and insurance company.
Quizzed on what was stopping the ruling party which he’s a member of from implementing some of the ideas, Moswaane said he’s not part of the executive and has no idea what they’re thinking.
“I’m part of the legislature and my duty as an MP is to question. Its my role and I can’t be muzzled,” he said.
“Our country is bleeding from illicit money flow and if it goes unchecked our money will be used to fund drug and terrorism which are a threat to our National Security,” said Moswaane.