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BDP tenderpreneur, CDC engineer face corruption, money laundering charges

RYDER GABATHUSE
Tlhagopi
FRANCISTOWN: Central District Council (CDC) principal roads engineer-1 and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) tenderpreneur and proprietor of Thiite Rabble Screeners, John Thiite have been slapped with corruption charges, Mmegi has learnt.

Although the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) spokesperson, Phakamile Kraai was cagey with details this week, Mmegi investigations have revealed that since corruption is a two-way process, the duo face charges.“At the DCEC, we are not in the habit of giving away information of that nature. In a nutshell, I can’t share the preferred charges with you for this freshly investigated matter,” was all Kraai could say.

 Our source had intimated that DCEC investigations have revealed that a public officer in the matter has allegedly accepted a bribe that influenced his decision-making whilst on the other hand, a person that had tendered for the works had allegedly bribed a public officer to allegedly get a favour in return. Money laundering charges have also been preferred.

The CDC principal roads engineer, Setlhomo Tlhagopi had allegedly assisted a construction company owned by a newly crowned BDP parliamentary hopeful for Ghanzi North, John Thiite to allegedly qualify for a lucrative tender.

The company Thiite Rabble Screeners was awarded the P272 million (P272, 378,310.96) tender for the infrastructural development in Tutume when the said company was allegedly ineligible to qualify, “because it had a garnishee order issued against

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it at the time of tendering”.

Although Kraai could not shed more light on the fate of the duo, Mmegi can reveal that last Friday, Thiite  and Tlhagopi were released from custody.

“The purpose of the arrest and detention of the suspects was to search, seize and interview them,” said our Gaborone-based source. 

She added that the seized motor vehicle, a certain top-of-the-range Ford, Double Cab valued at about P500, 000 is currently in DCEC custody whilst investigations continue.

Quizzed about the whereabouts of Tlhagopi, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, spokesperson Masego Ramakgati said: “The officer under DCEC investigations is on leave until 3rd August 2018. Administrative management on the matter is ongoing”.

A total of 13 bidders had submitted their tenders. Ramakgati further indicted that the procurement process in the alleged corruption tender was guided by the Local Authorities Procurement and Asset Disposal (LAPAD) Act of 2009, “which provides guidance on how a bid is disqualified looking at various factors as outlined in the Act, including compliance, delivery period, price schedule and terms of offer.”

Mmegi has learnt that other reputable companies that were shortlisted for the works included, Asphalt, Bango Trading and Letsatsi Investment.



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