19 March 2018

Botswana: Parliament Against Motion On NPF

Gaborone — Parliament has rejected a motion requesting the President to appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the alleged abuses at the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) as a matter of urgency.

Presenting the motion, MP for Bonnington South, Mr Ndaba Gaolathe said it was the responsibility of government that those at the helm should ensure that ordinary citizens have access to information that empowers them towards informed decision-making, which he said was an ointment to a successful democratic practice.

He said the facts and truth about usage of national resources was necessary at this juncture, for the President to appoint an inquiry to unearth insights into the NPF in a manner that would elucidate and inspire confidence into the governance system.

He further said it was the responsibility of any government to account for public resources in a fair and timely manner to restore confidence on electorate.

"There is no nation that can bring the best in its people if the very people in the governance systems have no confidence in it. There is no nation that can hope to advance the lives of the majority if the public resources intended to facilitate such advancements leak uncontrollably," he said.

Mr Gaolathe further noted that no one knew with certainty how much was used from NPF.

He said there were clear indicators that the country was in a major financial crisis that could compromise the country's ability to pursue its development agenda fully.

Mr Gaolathe said there was a possibility that hundreds of millions of Pula had been used or even billions misdirected or inappropriately spent.

He argued that there was danger that over recent years, there could have been systematic leakages of millions of Pula that no one would be able to account for.

MP Gaolathe further said no one knows the quantum involved or the period over which this had been taking place, adding that there was an ensuing sense of confusion fared by the lack of insights into the facts surrounding the NPF.

He said the confusion sometimes led to unwarranted suspicions and accusations while the real culprits ran unjustifiably free.

"This creates a paradise for sophisticated criminality, injustice and dishonesty. Such an environment goes against the type of value system that any society would wish to cultivate within its children," he said.

Source : BOPA

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