8 November 2018

Botswana: Taxman After Mabaila

The recently suspended Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary candidate for MogoditshanenTshepang Mabaila is facing another battle - this time around it is from the taxman who suspects that he has been evading tax.

Highly placed sources have revealed that Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) recently approached the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) about their dealings with Mabaila, especially payments made to his security company, Emirates Securities.

This was after LEA terminated their contract with Emirates Securities after it failed to fulfill some of the contractual obligations.

"The security officers were not provided with uniform and other accessories needed for a security officer and as stipulated in the contract every time he was asked to fulfill contractual obligations he will threaten to report the management to the then President Khama and Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi," revealed the source.

In an interview with this publication, Mabaila confirmed that indeed LEA has terminated the contract with him, but added that he is suing them for unlawful termination of the contract.

"They started threatening me with termination of the contract last year and failed. They then pushed it to this year," he said, denying that he used his closeness with former President Khama to threaten LEA officials.

Regarding the issue of non-compliance with the contract obligations, he vehemently denied that - insisting that all his officers have uniforms.

"I have contracts with government departments worth more than P10 million - why are they not terminated if I didn't provide my officers with uniforms," he asked rhetorically.

He denied that he was given tenders due to his association with former President Khama, saying that is due to his competency in the industry. Mabaila confirmed that BURS officials have visited him but was quick to add that it is just a normal routine.

"My books are in order. There is nothing to worry about and I must add that it is not political witch hunt as some people want to suggest," he revealed.

Though a questionnaire was sent to them on Monday and they confirmed receiving it, LEA failed to respond at the time of going to press. This publication wanted to know if it is true they that had terminated the contract with Emirates Securities, the reasons for that and whether BURS interviewed them regarding the tender.

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