Council Merger Uncovers Corruption

Date:

  • Corrupt officers took advantage of NWDC, MAA leadership gap
  • Council merger uncovers shady tender deals and funds mismanagement
  • Previously, around P6 million was reportedly unaccounted for
  • NWDC Chairman vows to crack the whip

The recent merging of the North West District Council (NWDC), and the Maun Administrative Authority (MAA) has reportedly helped uncover corrupt practices that were deeply rooted at the sub-council.

The recent upgrading of some sub councils into full districts nationally saw MAA merging with the NWDC. It has since turned out that some council employees have all along been taking advantage of the leadership gap between NWDC and its subordinate council (MAA) to do shady deals.  The unscrupulous behavior reportedly ranged from shady tender deals to mismanagement of funds. 

Issues of corruption are not new to MAA as the council has previously suspended from duty a number of its officers following issues of financial mismanagement where an amount estimated around P6 million was not accounted for.

Former chairman of the council, Vepaune Moreti has also previously confirmed that MAA is indeed marred by such practices revealing that the issues of procurement and tender allocations are among were corruption is mostly recorded.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Maun this week, NWDC Chairman Kebareeditse Ntsogotho revealed that the merger brought him and the council secretary, Motlogelwa Thuso closer to the affairs of MAA, and they found out that incidents of corruption at the local authority are of great concern.

“We didn’t see a lot that was happening there but now that we are close we have discovered that a lot of corrupt practices are happening in our council,” he noted.

Though he could not talk to the numbers but Ntsogotho stressed that the council is marred by such practices. “We have some of these cases awaiting hearing while some of the employees have already been fired,” the council chairman revealed.

Ntsogotho highlighted that though council has taken a deliberate decision to reserve some tenders to local companies in their area it has however turned out that some of those are still allocated to companies outside the district. He added that they are also concerned about some leaders of Village Development Committees (VDCs) who use proceeds of the committees such as rental fees for their own personal benefits.

“We have these cases before us and we will engage with the VDCs because we are seriously concerned about what is happening,” Ntsogotho said.

The chairman’s meeting took a different turn as corruption now became the main topic with some residents shifting the blame to the council leadership.

“The council no longer belongs to the people but to council leadership and its employees. They do not engage VDCs and the village leadership concerning developments taking place in the area. Though government has advised against this, government infrastructures are being renovated and tenders are allocated without our knowledge,” one of the residents, Tshematshe Monwela complained.

Some opined that corruption in the council won’t stop as long as public servants continue to be in cahoots with those tendering. They further complained about tenders being allocated to same companies for different works.

Regarding the upgrading of councils, NWDC Secretary Motlogelwa Thuso has clarified that the merging of North West District Council HQ and the Maun Administrative Authority (MAA) does not mean that services have been moved from MAA to RAC.

He highlighted that services such as Physical Planning, Commercial & Trade Licenses, Bye-Law, SHHA and Waste Collection & Management will continue being offered at MAA. Thuso added that they have also relocated some of their employees from RAC to MAA in their effort to assist improve our service delivery.

“This decentralization is meant to bring services that of quality closer to people and in an efficient way,” he noted. The chairman’s similar meetings were also held in Sehithwa, Tsau, Shorobe, Sankoyo, Khwai and Mababe.

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