Where Did Tcheku Trust’s P1.3 Million Go?

Date:

  • Tcheku Trust is embroiled in alleged financial mismanagement 
  • Audit report reveals P1.3 million of the P2.9 million hunting quota was unaccounted for
  • Fuming residents demand answers
  • Trust manager resigns

Residents of Tobere, Kaputura, and Kycia who are beneficiaries of the Tcheku Community Trust are demanding answers from the trust’s current management regarding the reported missing of over one million pula which has not been accounted for.

This follows an audit report on the operations of the trust which revealed that over P1 million used from the period 01/01/2021 to 13/03/2023 has not been accounted for by the board of trustees and the trust’s management. During the period in question, the trust had generated a total amount of P2, 948, 781.77 from a hunting quota out of which a total of P1, 313,857.66 was unaccounted for.

The audit was done following a request from the District Commissioner’s office after a concerned group of the villages petitioned it together with the Office of the President regarding an alleged misuse of funds by the trust’s management following a failed special meeting in December last year.

The report has also revealed that from August 2021 the trust’s manager, Kerapetse Peter was solely given the rights to process and authorise payments through the mobile banking app while other signatories only had rights to receive bank notifications. It further revealed that the manager gave himself an advance of P50 000, and its accountant Lucas Moshiti got an advance of P10 000 while the trust’s escort guide and former chairman, Hakoka Xoro got an advance of P6 000.

The trust’s manager has since tendered his resignation which he served notice of from the 25th August to the 7th September. Confirming the development, Peter explained that his main reason for resigning was that he has experienced an unsuccessful working relationship with the board and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

“I filed my resignation letter on the 24th August but I have not received any feedback, just on Wednesday this week I was called by the board to do admin duties but I refused since I have filed a resignation letter that they have not responded to,” Kerapetse said.

He indicated that he is yet to sit with the Tcheku community and the trust’s board to discuss his resignation as well as providing answers to the missing million. 

Meanwhile, a general meeting was held in Tobere recently to deliberate on contents of the report, where residents took turns to express their concerns regarding trust funds.

One of the residents, James Kamwanga complained that from all the money generated by the trust through a hunting quota, they have not benefitted from the funds and were not aware of how they were used.

He added that all the projects done by the trust in all three villages remain incomplete with no explanation of why and as to where the stipulated budget has gone to. He has since suggested for the current board and management to be voted out as they have failed beneficiaries.

For her part, Kebigile Jonah of Kaputura settlement lamented that the board and trust management took advantage of the residents as most people in the areas are illiterate. He added that even some board members are illiterate and were not even aware of the shenanigans that were happening with the trust’s money.

She also called for the current board and management to give answers as to where the unaccounted money went adding that the board should also be dissolved with immediate effect as they have shown that they are thieves.  

Jonah added that she does not see the importance of the trust as beneficiary families from all three villages are disadvantaged with nothing to show that comes from the trust. She questioned why they had to elect the board if they failed to assist them when they trusted them with their money.

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