Government employees and politicians implicated
The Mayor of Gaborone City Council, Father Maphongo has called for an audit to help the council recover big debts owed by advertising companies.
Maphongo made the call during an interview with this publication after it had emerged that the city council was owed P7 million from advertising billboards erected around the city.
Although he could not give much detail, Maphongo confirmed that the Audit Committee has not been meeting due to cover-19 restrictions.
“There are few committees which have been given the green light to meet during the State of Public Emergency period and Audit Committee is not one of them. So without it meeting, we will not be in a position to tell the exact amount we are owed,” said Maphongo adding that once the audit is done, they will be able to know exactly how much they are owed and which advertising boards are illegal.
However, information gathered by this publication has indicated that council is finding it hard to collect its debt because some of the debtors are well-known businessmen from government offices and ruling party politicians.
According to the source that was once close to the audit books, there are about 183 illegal advertising boards in the city.
“A well-known businessman-cum politician owes GCC P1.8m in unpaid for advertising boards and to make matters worse some of them are illegally erected,” said the source who went on to suggest that the amount could turn out to be higher after the audit.
In 2017, GCC embarked on a city clean up campaign to remove illegal advertising boards but when this publication asked why some were left, the source claimed that council employees did not want to lose their jobs by stepping on powerful people’s toes.
“We are talking of powerful people here who are capable of messing our future,” he said.