State investigators have indicated readiness for a looming trip to China in pursuit of investigation leads on the links and deals of the IRB Transport with the Asian giant. IRB Transport is a company owned by the Tati East legislator, Moyo Guma. State Prosecutor, Dumisani Marapo revealed this when appearing before Village Chief Magistrate, Mompati Taolo this week.
“We are currently waiting for them to respond so that our investigations team could go to China. Right now we are waiting for the documents to be translated into Chinese language,” said Marapo.In fact, the investigations have earned investigators a busy itinerary as they land in various international airports. Marapo says they have been to Zimbabwe where they got some response regarding the investigations. “We have written to South Africa and we are waiting for their response very soon and our team will go there once they give us the green light,” said Marapo.In his response, lawyer representing Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng, Doctor Pusoetsi fired salvo at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for delaying the matter.
“What the applicant is doing is painful. They are busy enjoying the benefits of the extension of the rule nisi while they are not communicating with us as to what is happening. The investigators are not taking our calls and it shows that there is nothing in this case and the respondents are being denied access to their money,” argued Pusoetsi.The company’s accounts were frozen last year in May by both the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).In his affidavit submitted to the then former Village Chief Magistrate, Lenah 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, Dikgatlhong Dam, Lotsane dam and Francistown/Ramokgwebana road. Minister Olopeng’s involvement arose from his business dealing with Guma over a sale transaction of P3.4million from IRB Transport Cheque book. Olopeng sold his shareholding in Executive Closets lodge in Phase IV Gaborone to Guma. As a result, Olopeng’s accounts were also frozen.