Government officials under the microscope in the Northwest
North West District Council (NWDC) chairman Kebareeditse Ntsogotlho expressed concern over the corruption of government officials in various departments in the region.
Speaking at the opening of this week’s plenary council meeting in Maun, Ntsogotlho revealed that since April at least 37 cases of corruption against government employees in the district have been reported to the Corruption Directorate and economic crime (DCEC), land issues being the most common offense.
“Of this number, 20 have been closed for investigation while 17 have been referred to the competent authorities,” Ntsogotlho explained.
He added that 12 cases are currently before the courts and 20 before the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“In view of this worrying development, officials of the Tawana Land Council and all of its land sub-councils have been empowered to respect business ethics, with the exception of council members,” Ntsogotlho revealed.
The president admitted that DCEC observed a number of shortcomings that lead to corrupt practices in various departments. These include, among others: the deployment of unqualified personnel in strategic operational areas such as the case management unit and procurement and ineffective corruption prevention initiatives.
“The respective departments do not have specific budgets for training sessions for corruption prevention committees. As a result, the committees always submit the corruption prevention plan to DCEC but such plans are never implemented due to budget constraints, ”he conceded with regret.
Ntsogotlho also noted that a total of 25 corruption prevention committees have been established in the region, but only 10 are active.
Pointing out another flaw in the system, he said: “Instead of reporting suspicions of corruption to DCEC, department heads instead resort to internal problem-solving and unnecessary administrative action against perpetrators. ”
The best dog in the NWDC is adamant: “Swipe the business under the carpet” as this is damaging the battle to reduce all forms of corruption in the region.
“In order to alleviate these shortcomings, the Directorate is requesting the appointment of specific anti-corruption liaison officers in all departments for the purposes of reliability and confidentiality regarding corruption-related matters, in particular investigations. Ministries are also requested to allocate funds for CPC training sessions. This will promote the implementation of corruption risk assessment and corruption risk management in organizations, ”the President concluded.