Botswana: Corruption Allegations Prompt Audit

Molepolole — Allegations of corruption at the Kweneng District Council has resulted in a joint audit by ministries of local government and finance to determine whether there was compliance to supplies and financial regulations.

Kweneng District Council chairperson, Mr Motlhophi Leo conceded that refocusing controls coupled with streamlining processes and procedures in response to COVID-19 exposed government and district councils to misuse and abuse of public resources.

Officially opening a two-week full council meeting on Monday, Mr Leo said the situation led to the council being marred by allegations of corruption in the media.

On the council's financial status, he revealed that the organisation required over P150 million against the P52 million disbursed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development towards provision of food baskets and preparations of school environment.

Mr Leo therefore called for the ministry's intervention as the current position could lead to operational and financial crisis.

Turning to COVID-19 issues, he said the increasing number of positive cases in the district required stringent measures.

He said in an endeavour to curb the spread of the disease in the district, a decision was taken to constitute a team to monitor compliance to health protocols by business entities that attracted crowds.

Mr Leo said the district's 102 positive cases called on all to ensure health protocols were observed at all times.

Meanwhile, Mr Leo has said following consultations with relevant council structures, the council had decided to renew the Mafenyatlala Service Hall contract for three years effective this October.

"The extension would allow council enough time to prepare for relocation of the service hall to a functional and affordable location," he added.

The council chairperson said a request had since been made for the ministry to disburse funding for the service hall project as the council did not have budget provision for it.

He said some of the funds were expected to go towards the establishment of a government owned facility.

Another contractual issue was the decision to renew Rural Metro Botswana contract to provide fire and emergency services for the next five years.

Mr Leo asserted that the long awaited Molepolole Development Plan had been resubmitted to the minister for further consideration.

Approval of the plan, he said, was critical as it provided a tool for shaping the village's development and implementation of other projects such as the ongoing Molepolole water and sanitation project.

On other issues, the council chairperson bemoaned the fact that the district was continuing to register a disturbing number of school dropouts with 139 cases registered across all levels in December 2019, due to factors such a pregnancy, truancy and desertion. BOPA

Source : BOPA

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