19 May 2019

Botswana: Corruption Fight Still Priority

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has vowed to relentlessly fight against all acts of corruption.

He underscored such commitment during a High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) meeting in Gaborone on May 16.

He said corruption was one of the evils that stood in Botswana's way to achieve Vision 2036 aspirations and if left unchecked, corruption could destroy the country's economy.

He thus urged Batswana to be part of the fight against the scourge that was increasingly becoming institutionalised.

"We will not succeed in attracting the desired Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) nor will we succeed to grow our economy in any meaningful way if we allow corruption to be part of our business culture. I therefore wish to assure the nation that government is determined to do all it takes to win this battle," he said.

In this regard, he said the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Bill would be tabled in Parliament during the winter session.

Business Botswana president, Mr Gobusamang Keebine, objected to the 2015 notion of civil servants being allowed to form companies and do business saying it would breed and fester corruption as well as precipitate governance issues since the referee would also become the player.

"Business Botswana holds a strong view that allowing civil servants to do business has reversed all governance, noble and gallant efforts to fight corruption and holds the view that corruption is detrimental to the rule of law as economies do not grow their way to high income through corruption," he said.

Mr Keebine said it was unfortunate that many of his members found it inexplicable that they were made to compete with people who had inside information about public contracts and also adjudicated the same contracts.

He therefore said Business Botswana would like to introduce, through the PPADB act and procedures, a debate on intellectual propriety and unsolicited bidding if the economy is to be private sector-led.

He emphasised the need to cohesively work together in identifying paths to grow the country to a high income status.

Mr Keebine also highlighted the need to transform to a knowledge-based economy, adding that such an economy was one of the paths to high income and sustainable economy.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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