Botswana: Gare Calls for Closure of Financial Leaks

Moshupa — Moshupa based accounting officers have been urged to tighten the screws and close financial leaks.

The appeal was made by Moshupa/Manyana MP Mr Karabo Gare when addressing departmental heads in the village recently.

Mr Gare, who is Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, said 37 per cent of the national budget went to waste through avoidable leaks.

That, he said, undermined government efforts to develop the country.

Pointing out that COVID-19 had adversely affected the country's fiscal position, Mr Gare urged leaders across the public sector to ensure resources were put to good use.

He said the nation's principal revenue earners, diamonds and tourism, took a serious knock from the pandemic during the 2020/21 financial year.

Out of an expected P20 billion from diamond sales, only a paltry P6 billion was salvaged, he said.

Mr Gare also stressed the importance of ensuring projects were completed within time and budget.

He said currently government's priority was saving lives and livelihoods.

The minister commended frontline workers for having unfailingly provided critical goods and services in the face of risks posed by COVID-19.

Mr Gare said he was impressed that when COVID-19 struck, public officers in his constituency were on hand to implement government interventions geared at curbing the spread of the virus.

The situation often required them to work beyond the call of duty in order to save lives and livelihoods, he said.

He encouraged his audience to focus more on the provision of critical services.

Commenting, senior assistant council secretary Mr Sebonego Mosinyi, concurred that a good share of the national budget was lost to corruption.

Botswana might not be the worst on the corruption index but the vice was real, he said.

Mr Mosinyi said it was often difficult to close financial leaks because suppliers usually inflated prices.

Thanked the minister for the visit, he said it gave them an opportunity to reflect and see whether they were still on track.Another officer, Mr Namati Thapelo decried serious shortage of staff accommodation in Moshupa.

Generally, he said, only council and district administration officers had accommodation adding that government should address the imbalance.

Mr Thapelo also requested an accommodation subsidy for all officers without institutional housing.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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