The state prosecutor in a corruption case against transport Company – IRB Transport – owned by Member of Parliament for Tati East, Moyo Guma, has accused the defence lawyers of delaying the completion of the investigations.
Appearing before Village Chief Magistrate, Linah Oahile-Mokibe on Friday, Letswalo Mpho said they wrote a notice order to the lawyers on 10th September so that they could furnish documents to Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), to conclude its investigations against the company.
“The same day the first respondents through their lawyers responded promising to submit documents on the 25th September and unfortunately as we speak today that order has not been complied with,” he said. According to Mpho they wanted the company to provide financial statements, balance sheets, shareholder dividends and fixed assets for the years 2008 to 2015.
In the last court appearance, the lawyers and DPP agreed that DCEC be allowed to carry out investigations. “As far as this case is concerned the first respondent is frustrating the investigations in this matter,” explained Mpho. Responding to the accusations, IRB Transport lawyers, Moses Kadye said the DCEC has now spread its investigations wider from the initial application. “The application into this matter was to look into the bank accounts of 2014.
What will those financial statements of 2008 to 2015 have to do with this case? The notice has spread to other companies which have nothing to do with this case and the bank accounts. When the accounts were frozen the money was not there. Witnesses and records are there,” said Kadye. His counterpart, Doctor Pusoentsi, who is representing Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng as the second respondent lashed out at the DCEC saying they are trying to get a fish in a dry dam. “We are shocked at what the DCEC is doing. The goal posts have now changed,” he said. He told the magistrate that if the DPP wants to charge other companies owned by his clients they should do so on a separate matter but not seek information from them as the third party.
“It is legally wrong for me and the DPP to talk about the company that is not involved in this matter. If they want to charge those companies they should write to them and explain what they want from them. They have lost it and (are now) investigating something which is outside this matter,” he said adding that the DPP is harassing his client.
In his affidavit submitted to Oahile-Mokibe on July 13 2015, Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Moatlhodi Lekaukau explained that on Thursday May 28 2015, the bank received a letter from the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) advising that the agency has reasonable grounds to suspect that the account belonging to Guma’s company was involved in a financial offence.
“The account belonging to the 1st respondent (IRB Transport) and held with the 3rd Respondent (Standard Chartered Bank) Game City mall branch was involved in the commission of a financial offence as defined under the Financial Intelligence Act [Cap 08:07] (“FIA Act”), and thereby directing the bank to halt and/or not to proceed with any debit transaction relating to the account,” reads the CEO’s affidavit.
The amount of over P25 million was found in the company’s account. In 2013, Moyo Guma signed a consultancy agreement with Chinese multinational Sinohydro, which later won a $319million tender to expand the 300 MW Kariba South Hydro Power Station in Zimbabwe. Through his company, IRB, Guma has reportedly brokered multimillion Pula deals between several African governments and Chinese multinationals, in the process earning himself millions in consultancy fees.
He was the middleman when Sinohydro was contracted to build several infrastructure developments in Botswana, including the new Sir Seretse Khama Airport, Kang-Hukuntsi road, Francistown-Ramokgwebana road, Dikgatlhong Dam, Lotsane dam and Francistown/Ramokgwebana road.
Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.
It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.
According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.
Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.
“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.
Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.
ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING
Simba Mooketsi Mampori, 31, of Mbalambi allegedly killed his girlfriend in Bontleng, Gaborone and used her blood to scribble a message on the wall.
The message read, ‘Ke lapisitswe ke maaka’- translated to mean ‘I am tired of lies.’ Matlhogonolo Moshashu’s body was found inside his sister’s rented house in Bontleng.Mampori and Moshashu, 34, had a two year-old child together. Mampori allegedly killed her in March 31 by stabbing her with a screw driver, which was found inside the house. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, Otilia Kholiya, one of the tenants in the yard, said that she arrived on that fateful Sunday to find a yellow tape surrounding the yard with the police all over the place.
She said that she was the one who helped with cleaning. “He used her blood and wrote ‘Ke lapile ke maaka.’ I washed all the blood in the house by myself. Although police officers suspect that he used the screw driver they found in the house to kill her, I beg to differ. “That blood was just too much, it must have been something bigger,” she said, adding that they found a new dress that the deceased was going to wear to Mampori’s sister’s baby shower.
Another tenant Nicah Mandefu said that the house belonged to Mampori’s sister and that she rarely slept there and preferred her parents’place in Gaborone. She stated that she saw Mampori with his girlfriend arrive on Saturday around 4pm. “I don’t know him much because the house belongs to his sister. He probably just needed it for the weekend to spend time with his girlfriend who was staying and working outside Gaborone.
“They just greeted me and another tenant as we were sitting in front of our house. They stayed for 30 minutes and left. They would come again around 7pm,” she said. Mandefu said it was the first time she saw the deceased.
Mandefu said that Mampori’s sister arrived on Sunday around 9am, found her house locked and asked about his whereabouts. “She then told me that the lady he was with was actually his girlfriend and mother of his child,” she said. After some time, the sister returned to tell them that she received a report to say Mampori was found in Mmankgodi where he had tried to hang himself on a tree after killing Mashashu.
Upon failing to kill himself, he drove off recklessly at high speed, thus catching the attention of the police who stopped and charged him with reckless driving. “The police then noticed that he was not well as he had bruises from trying to kill himself. He could not even speak to the police but wrote down his mother’s phone number and gave them the keys to the sister’s house.
“They then took him to Thamaga Primary Hospital to be attended for his wounds on the neck, and later the police called his family and finally drove together to Bontleng where they found his girlfriend dead inside the sister’s house,” the neighbour tenant narrated to The Midweek Sun.
According to Botswana Police Service Deputy Public Relations Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, Mampori is also linked to another murder that occurred on 26 March in Gaborone in which a 39-year old woman from Molepolole was found with stab wounds.
At the time of his arrest, Mampori was awaiting trial for two murder cases committed in Mahalapye and Gaborone in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The deceased were his girlfriends. He was arraigned before Extension 2 Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He is incarcerated and expected back in court on April 17.
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