The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime is investigating Gaborone City Council (GCC) in relation to SHAA plot allocation and Public Procurement.
When officially opening, GCC Full Council this week, Gaborone City Mayor, Father Maphongo said that his office and that of the Town Clerk recently met with the Director General of DCEC, Tymon Katholo to discuss issues related to corruption in procurement at GCC.
“It came out that there are indeed some cases that are being investigated by DCEC. Some of them are related to SHHA plot allocation and public procurement.” Maphongo said that some of the cases were being investigated by Botswana Police. The Mayor said that police were investigating cases related to misuse of imprest and fraud.
“I wish to indicate that being in Gaborone and holding public office is a risk on its own and all need to manage such risk. For instance, people out there and even in-house may take advantage and use their cash power to oil our hands so that we bow to their corrupt demands. Therefore I plead with all of us to support Government efforts to fight corruption. If you see corruption happening and you do not report it, you will be considered to be part of it,”the Mayor warned.
He also requested committees to be vigilant and ensure that they make decisions after they have thoroughly informed themselves.
The Mayor also noted that government was also working on reviewing procurement laws to ensure that identified gaps are closed.
“For instance from the Presentation by Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and PPADB in our last Full Council meeting, a new structure will be established, that is,“the Buyer,” which will introduce separation of roles.”
He said that that councillors were aware that the current situation is that the procuring entity determines project estimate and at the same time is the project manager.
“With the introduction of “the buyer” the roles will be separated,” said Maphongo
He also explained that the DCEC has identified Councils as Government institutions where reported cases of corruption are high and even perception from the public is that Councils are corrupt.
“The reason for this perception is that Councils deal with matters that are prone to corruption. Examples of these areas are public procurement, Human Resource Recruitment, land allocation and Bye Law Enforcement,” he said.