SADC, Botswana Govt. in ‘confidential’ talks

Dikarabo Ramadubu
Wednesday, 05 July 2017
SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax BOTSWANA GUARDIAN

The SADC Secretariat and Botswana government are holding “confidential” talks in the wake of the shameful shutdown of a Tanzanian travel company that operated illegally at the regional bloc’s head offices.

“We are in the process of consultation engaging Botswana government,” confirmed SADC Executive Secretary, Dr, Stergomena Tax, adding, “But I can not disclose to you the nature of our discussion as it remains confidential.” 

The Tanzanian company - Worldlink Travel and Tours Limited – was ordered to close down by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) a fortnight ago because it had not complied with local registration and tax rules.

“I can confirm that Worldlink Travel and Tours Limited- the company that we engaged- wrote to the Secretariat informing us that they have received a letter from Botswana government ordering them to close down as they have not followed the stipulated procedure,”

Dr. Tax said. However, it beats logic how the multimillion tender passed through the Secretariat’s control measures such as the Internal Audit Unit, which has the responsibility for mitigating risks, ensuring efficient governance processes and monitoring that the goals of the organisation are met effectively, economically and efficiently. Asked if the Internal Audit Unit would investigate the tender, its head, Clement Mwinyuka went on a personal attack against the Botswana Guardian reporter.

“What more stories do you want to write as you have exhausted the matter? Really, if you were a smart person, you’d have not written so many stories without my concern. The fact of the matter is I derive my mandate from SADC. The mandate gives me work to do and report accordingly at SADC. I do not report to the Botswana Guardian,” he fumed. Through audits, investigations, and its oversight functions, the unit plays an advisory role to the SADC Council and the Executive Secretary of SADC. The Unit reports functionally to the Audit Committee and administratively to the Executive Secretary.  

However this newspaper has heard from credible sources that Mwinyuka’s Unit and the Audit Committee are currently carrying out the audit on the operations of the Secretariat.

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