Botswana: DIS Audits PMOs Lifestyles

11 September 2019

Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) which has vowed to uproot corruption in government department has confiscated files and gadgets belonging to some Project Management Officers (PMO) in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.

For the past two weeks DIS officers are said to have gone to the home villages of some PMOs interviewing their relatives and even visited their cattle posts and farms to check if they are not living beyond their means.

Communications Director at DIS Edward Robert said that they under their radar a number of entities which government have invested a lot in them but with little returns. "I would not want to reveal those entities to prejudice investigations but can confirm that DIS has a team of investigators whose sole mandate is to investigate corrupt practices," he said.

Robert said that DIS Director General Peter Magosi has vowed to fight corruption which has resulted in government losing billions of Pulas with no returns which he said has led to unhappiness among Batswana and could lead to unrest.

Sources within the ministry have revealed that the investigations were initiated by some senior officials within the ministry who felt that PMOs were the ones leaking information to the media and getting bribes from some multinational construction companies.

It is suspected that some PMOs were in the pockets of a certain multinational construction company which lost the over P700 million 100kilomter Masama water pipeline which was won by Khato Civils. The construction company (known to this publication) is said to have used the PMOs to discredit the project which is under Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) and influencing the parliamentary committee on budget and estimates to reject the budget proposal for the project.

In rejecting the budget proposal for the project, parliament said that there is no need for the project as there is another one budgeted for in NSC II and that they suspect some corrupt practices. On the other side government said that they wanted the project to go ahead as there is dire shortage of water in the southern part of the country.

Ahead of the tabling of the supplementary budget for the project, it is alleged that some PMOs met with some members of the parliamentary committee on budget and estimates and advised them to reject the proposal. "There is suspicion that the PMO are the ones behind the failure of the project to get funding as they leaked some information to the Parliamentary Committee on Budgets and estimates which led to them rejecting the budget proposal," revealed the source.

The PMO who are engineers are said to have been against the project whilst engineers at Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) were for it. One multinational company which is alleged to be enjoying the support of some cabinet ministers and lost on the tender is also suspected to be behind the rejection of the project.

A senior officer at the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services speaking on condition of anonymity said the raid on project management officers is just a witch-hunt."This is just a ploy to try and transfer some of the officers who were against some corrupt practices by some senior officers in the ministry," he revealed.

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